Georgia NAACP investigates bus search incident with Delaware State University : NPR

Delaware State University says it has filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday to investigate the women’s lacrosse team bus stop and search. Here, the main gate of the Delaware State University campus in Dover in September 2007.

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Delaware State University says it has filed a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday to investigate the women’s lacrosse team bus stop and search. Here, the main gate of the Delaware State University campus in Dover in September 2007.

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The Georgia NAACP says it is taking a look into the stop and search bus incident involving members of the Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team last month in Liberty County, Ga.

Gerald Griggs, state president of the Georgia NAACP, told NPR he was “disturbed” by what took place with the athletes on Interstate 95. He says the Georgia chapter of the NAACP is at the beginning of conducting its own investigation into what happened on April 20.

“My [initial] thoughts were, ‘I couldn’t believe this was actually happening.’ Once I watched the full bodycam , I was just disturbed by what appeared to be an unnecessary search of their belongings,” Griggs told NPR.

He says the state chapter of the NAACP was concerned to hear about the news of the team’s traffic stop in Liberty County considering the county sheriff, William Bowman, is Black.

“But this is, you know, not anything new that’s happening on I-95. That corridor is known for racial profiling,” Griggs said.

Last month, the Delaware State University women’s lacrosse team was headed northbound on Interstate 95 following games in Georgia and Florida when they were stopped in by Liberty County deputies.

In a news conference last week, Liberty County Sheriff William Bowman said the team’s bus was stopped after it was traveling illegally in the left lane. During the traffic stop, several of the athletes’ bags were searched after a narcotics-sniffing K-9 dog made what officials call an “open-air alert,” authorities said.

In a video posted to YouTube by one of the lacrosse players, Sydney Anderson, a deputy is shown in the frame speaking to the students just before the search begins, telling them that the recreational use of marijuana is illegal in Georgia.

“If there is something in there that is questionable, please tell me now,” the officer says in the video. “Because if we find it, guess what? We’re not going to be able to help you.”

It is unclear at this time what took place before the recording began or after the recording stopped. The deputies did not find anything illegal in the bags during their search.

Bowman told reporters during last week’s news conference that deputies stopped several vehicles the morning of the incident, finding contraband on another bus that was pulled over.

Bowman said the deputies, who were not identified during the news conference, did not know the race or gender of those inside the bus when it was pulled over.

On Wednesday, Delaware State University filed an official complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate the incident, calling for an external investigation into the traffic stop.

In the five-page letter to the DOJ, the university is calling for an external investigation, saying it has “little faith” in the internal investigation by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office will be done with non-bias.

“Our students and staff deserve to know that this brazen, illegal, and discriminatory conduct will not go unchecked,” the complaint reads. “The illegal behavior exhibited by these officers, the repeated misstatements by the Sheriff (both about the law and the facts), the attempt to obscure the facts, the failure to turn over immediately all of the videos from the encounter, and the racial disparity evident to anyone who views the videos make it clear that neither the Sheriff’s Office nor local officials can be trusted to investigate this incident completely and impartially.”

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Delaware State University intends to file a formal DOJ complaint over traffic stop they believe was racially motivated

President Tony Allen announced Friday the historically Black institution’s decision to file the complaint, after what he says was police misconduct by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.

Allen said the deputies “conducted a constitutionally dubious stop and search of a charter bus” carrying women’s lacrosse team members on April 20, 2022.

“We believe both the stop and the search are a violation of rights. The rights of every passenger on that bus, those of the driver,” Allen said. “Our first and most immediate concern was our students and coaches mental and physical well-being and remains paramount.”

The team’s bus was headed north on Interstate 95 in Liberty County following a game in Florida when it was stopped “under the pretext of a minor traffic violation,” Allen said in an earlier statement. Liberty County is on Georgia’s coast, south of Savannah.

Video taken by players shows “law enforcement members attempting to intimidate our student-athletes into confessing to possession of drugs and/or drug paraphernalia,” Allen added, noting nothing illegal was discovered.

Liberty County Sheriff William Bowman said the bus was pulled over for violating a state law which requires a bus or motor coach to operate in the two most right-hand lanes unless the bus or motor coach is preparing for a left turn or moving to or from an HOV lane, and the driver was ultimately issued a warning.

Allen said he immediately began an investigation into the incident, and the university filed a Freedom of Information Act request consistent with Georgia law requesting body-camera footage from everyone involved at the scene and any paperwork from the incident.

Allen said the deadline for the request ended Thursday, and he has yet to receive a response from Sheriff Bowman’s office.

“The first six weeks of the year, HBCUs around the country, including Delaware State University were subjected to a round of bomb threats. As our visibility has increased, so has the malignant intentions of the worst among us. It’s a reality too many Americans of color must live with. So much so that even being stopped for a minor traffic violation is cause for concern,” Allen said.

Interaction was ‘traumatic,’ team member says

In body camera video of the traffic stop released by the sheriff’s office, deputies are seen informing the driver they pulled him over for a left lane violation. While one deputy is checking a driver’s license, another has a K-9 sniff the vehicle.

At one point in the video, the deputy running the license is heard asking another deputy, “Positive on the truck?” He then says, “There’s a bunch of dang schoolgirls on the truck. Probably some weed.”

A few minutes later, deputies are seen outside the bus putting on blue surgical-like gloves before they begin the search. Deputies are seen going through bags, searching makeup kits and other items inside them.

Eventually, a deputy goes back on the bus and tells the passengers nothing illegal was found.

Video taken by team member Saniya Craft shows officers on the bus adressing the team members about what they might find in their luggage.

Saniya Craft, a freshman lacrosse player, told CNN in an earlier interview she and her teammates remained calm because they knew they did not have anything illegal.

“It was traumatic,” she said, “and we were surprised, but we just were really trying to stay steady and calm, trying not to question too much.”

“I just knew, if we were a different colored team — which is sad to say — that it wouldn’t have been presented like that, and I don’t even believe that we would have gotten searched,” she said.

The stop happened as part of the department’s “commercial interdiction detail,” Bowman, who is Black, said Tuesday at a news conference, adding other commercial vehicles were stopped that day, including a bus where “contraband” was found.

“Before entering the motor coach, the deputy was not aware that this school was historically Black or aware of the race of the occupants due to the height of the vehicle and tinted windows,” Bowman said Tuesday.

“We were not aware that this stop was received as racial profiling,” Bowman said. “Although I do not believe any racial profiling took place based on the information I currently have, I welcome feedback from our community on ways that our law enforcement practices can be improved while still maintaining the law.”

CNN’s Joe Sutton, Claudia Dominguez and Aya Elamroussi contributed to this report.

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Spanish degree takes Iowa State senior on global adventures • News Service • Iowa State University

College student on dairy farm

During a trip to Germany in fall 2019 for the IAAS European

Directors Meeting, Adam Bittner visited an organic dairy

farm in Cologne. Photos provided by Bittner.

AMES, Iowa — Adam Bittner’s enthusiasm for agriculture, language and travel has taken him from local farms in Iowa to a cattle ranch on the southern tip of Argentina — and so many places in between.

Bittner graduates from Iowa State University this weekend with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a minor in U.S. Latino/a studies.

He grew up in York, Pennsylvania, a suburb in the metro area of Washington, D.C. But what started as a high school summer job in the metro area as a farmhand with black angus beef cattle turned into Bittner’s love for farming.

“It opened up a whole new world to me of agriculture,” he said. “I think that was a pivotal moment in my life, because it was the first step to get to Iowa.”

As a freshman at Iowa State, Bittner started out studying agricultural business.

“That first year changed me a lot,” he said. “I didn’t know anyone at the university. I was 1,000 miles from home, completely restarting. Some weekends I would be flying home. Then the spring of my freshman year, my dad passed. That was hard … but everything happens for a reason, and it taught me a lot. I was able to find meaning in it.”

He had an opportunity to transfer to a university closer to home but said Iowa had a hold on him — the people, in particular.

“I’m really thankful that I’m going to be able to have the title of an ISU grad,” Bittner said. “Everyone goes through a lot in college, but the community at Iowa State, in Ames, in Iowa, is what kept me there.”

Discovering the world

Through his first internship at the insurance company Nationwide, Bittner traveled about 500 miles a week visiting large- and small-scale farming operations around the D.C. region. He says this experience showed him countless examples of where our food comes from.

In spring 2019, Bittner decided to take a gap semester. He found an internship in Patagonia, Argentina, where he worked on a 100,000-acre estancia (a working cattle ranch). At this point, Bittner didn’t speak much Spanish, but it didn’t matter. He learned what it meant to live off the land, spending his days working the ranch, drinking mate and finding ways to connect with gauchos.

“It was an off-the-grid location. We were creating our own power with stream and solar panels,” he said. “There weren’t any jet trails in the sky. This place is so remote. It’s a unique way of living that you can’t replicate in many other places in the world.

“It taught me a lot about where I wanted to be in life, where I was putting my energy and what is possible for me. It was like living in a total dreamscape.”

Bittner returned to Iowa State that fall and realized that ag business wasn’t the right fit, so he looked at the world languages and cultures department. He added a minor in Spanish, and it eventually became his major. It wasn’t a random choice; he grew up surrounded by Puerto Rican and Cuban friends and appreciated the culture.

Language + agriculture

He joined the International Association of Students in Agriculture and Related Sciences (IAAS) student organization, getting involved in sustainability events and supporting local farms and food systems technologies. In November 2019, he traveled to the IAAS European Directors Meeting in Germany.

“That event made me more of a global citizen,” he said. “I was the only American who went. I was mixing with all these other Europeans.”

In February 2020, he traveled with IAAS again, this time to the Youth Assembly in New York, a leadership event centered on international education and cultural exchange. Then COVID-19 hit, and Bittner decided to try something new. Through IAAS, he taught English online for 90 students, most of whom were from Greece, Morocco, Guatemala and Mexico. He grew his global network once again.

Last year, he spent two weeks touring organic farms, agroforestry operations and an indigenous coffee co-op in Guatemala. Then, he traveled to Turkey for a month, serving as the emcee for the World Congress. Today, Bittner is the national exchange coordinator for IAAS for the U.S., facilitating agricultural exchanges for students from around the world who want to work in agriculture.

Bittner is wrapping up his final semester in Spain.

What’s next is up in the air. He ping-pongs between ideas but there’s a thread through everything: applying his language skills and global connections to advocate for small-scale farmers.

“People are starting to wake up to where their food comes from, which is good, but there’s a lot of misinformation,” he said.

Bittner may participate as an agriculture extension agent with the Peace Corps. His plans also include moving to Puerto Rico – with one of his childhood friends – to work for an agricultural consulting startup. Startups excite him because “the sky’s the limit.” Plus, it won’t be his first foray into entrepreneurship. Before the pandemic, Bittner joined a friend from Algeria to start an import-export company that would bring his family’s olive oil from Oran to U.S. markets, although the pandemic put this venture on hold.

Last fall was Bittner’s final semester physically on campus.

“It was emotional leaving,” he said. “It felt really surreal. I’m a fifth-year senior, I took a gap semester, I’ve changed majors – but it feels like it went in the blink of an eye. Already I’m looking forward to what’s next.”

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Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre and Bournmouth University ink partnership – Breaking Travel News

Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre and Bournmouth University ink partnership  Breaking Travel News

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Campus Maize & Blueprint | University of Michigan – Campus Maize & Blueprint

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022, Campus COVID-19 Update

Decreasing cases

While the overall recent trend within Washtenaw county has remained steady, the number of new COVID-19 cases on campus has steadily decreased over the past two weeks. That trend is most apparent among the U-M student population and can be seen on the COVID-19 dashboard by selecting the student under status. For individuals seeking testing at University Health Service, the majority continued to experience mild symptoms. No campus metrics are currently being met. 

Updated COVID policies

Effective May 2, wearing a mask is no longer required on campus in instructional settings during class time or while on U-M buses. Masks remain required in patient care areas and at campus COVID-19 testing sites. The campus community is expected to remain up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations — completion of primary vaccine series and one booster — as outlined under the vaccination policy. Weekly testing remains required for those with an exemption from the vaccination policy and use of the daily symptom checker ResponsiBLUE, is expected. More details in the University Record.

Preventing COVID

Actions the community can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses include: staying home when sick; getting vaccinated against COVID-19, including boosters when eligible; wearing a face covering when around others; and getting tested before attending social activities or following close contact exposures. Free COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits and masks are available on campus at select testing sites. More tips in this FAQ.

International travel guidance

As we come to an end of a successful in-person academic year and approach the summer travel season, the university has shared important guidance and tips for those planning to travel abroad during Summer 2022. Read the full campus message.

Pause on updates

The COVID-19 updates will pause for the spring-summer terms. For the latest information, visit the campus blueprint website.

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Former Yale employee stole $40 million in electronics from the university : NPR

A former Yale University administrator has pleaded guilty to a years-long scheme of stealing electronics ordered for the university and reselling the items. Here, a shuttle drives students around Yale’s campus.

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A former Yale University administrator has pleaded guilty to a years-long scheme of stealing electronics ordered for the university and reselling the items. Here, a shuttle drives students around Yale’s campus.

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

A nearly decade-long scheme to steal millions of dollars of computers and iPads from Yale University’s School of Medicine is officially over.

Former Yale administrator Jamie Petrone, 42, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Hartford, Conn., to two counts of wire fraud and a tax offense for her role in the plot.

Petrone’s ploy started as far back as 2013 and continued well into 2021 while she worked at the university, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

Until recently, her role was the director of finance and administration for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale. As part of this job, Petrone had the authority to make and authorize certain purchases for the department — as long as the amount was below $10,000.

Starting in 2013, Petrone would order, or have a member of her staff order, computers and other electronics, which totaled to thousands of items over the years, from Yale vendors using the Yale School of Medicine’s money. She would then arrange to ship the stolen hardware, whose costs amounted to millions of dollars, to a business in New York, in exchange for money once the electronics were resold.

Those purchases included iPads and Microsoft Surface Pros, according to court records.

Investigators said Petrone would report on documents to the school that the equipment was for specific needs at the university, like medical studies that ultimately didn’t exist. She would break up the fraudulent purchases into orders that were below $10,000 each so that she wouldn’t need to get additional approval from school officials.

Petrone would ship this equipment out herself to the third-party business that would resell the equipment. It would later pay Petrone by wiring funds into an account of Maziv Entertainment LLC, a company she created.

Petrone used the money to live the high life, buy real estate and travel, federal prosecutors say. She bought luxury cars as well. At the time of her guilty pleas, she was in possession of two Mercedes-Benz vehicles, two Cadillac Escalades, a Dodge Charger and a Range Rover.

In June 2020, the high volume of equipment orders grabbed some attention at Yale. But it was eventually explained away by Petrone, who said that her department was simply updating its computer equipment.

Her scheme continued successfully until August 2021, when Yale officials received an anonymous tip that Petrone was ordering “suspiciously high volumes of computer equipment,” court records state. These orders were made more suspicious by the fact that Petrone was putting some of the packages in her own car.

Later that month, Yale auditors dug into Petrone’s purchase orders and her emails, among other things — eventually turning over their findings to law enforcement.

At the time of her guilty plea, she agreed to forfeit the luxury vehicles as well as three homes in Connecticut. A property she owns in Georgia may also be seized.

Petrone has also agreed to forfeit more than $560,000 that was seized from the Maziv Entertainment LLC bank account.

Federal prosecutors say the loss to Yale totals approximately $40,504,200.

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Former School of Medicine administrator pleads guilty to stealing $40 million from the University

Hedy Tung, Staff Photographer

A former Yale School of Medicine employee pleaded guilty on Monday to fraud and tax offenses after stealing $40 million in computer and electronic software from the school over a nearly ten-year period.

The former administrator, Jamie Petrone-Codrington, pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. Arrested by criminal complaint on Sept. 3, 2021, Petrone-Codrington was released on a $1 million bond pending sentencing. In 2008, Petrone-Codrington was employed by the Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine and most recently served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the department. According to the DOJ press release, Petrone-Codrington had the authority to make and authorize purchases up to $10,000 for departmental needs. Beginning as early as 2013, Petrone-Codrington illegally purchased and resold the hardware using funds from the School of Medicine. In total, Petrone-Codrington caused a loss of approximately $40,504,200 to Yale and a loss of $6,416,618 to the U.S. Treasury.

“Petrone-Codrington pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. She will be sentenced at a later date and will pay restitution to Yale University and the IRS,” University spokesperson Karen Peart said. “Yale initially alerted authorities to evidence of suspected criminal behavior last year and fully cooperated throughout the investigation. The University thanks local law enforcement, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their handling of the case. Since the incident, Yale has worked to identify and correct gaps in its internal financial controls.”

The DOJ alleged that as part of the scheme, Petrone-Codrington falsified Yale internal forms and electronic communications to claim that the hardware was for medical school needs, such as medical studies. She broke up the fraudulent purchases into orders below the $10,000 threshold that would necessitate additional approval. An out-of-state business, which resold the electronic equipment to customers, paid Petrone-Codrington by wiring funds into an account of a company in which she is a principal, Maziv Entertainment LLC.

According to the government court filing, Yale received an anonymous tip that Petrone-Codrington was “ordering suspiciously high volumes of computer equipment, some of which was placed into her personal vehicle.” 

Petrone-Codrington used the proceeds of the sales of the stolen equipment for various personal expenses, including expensive cars, real estate and travel.

She has agreed to forfeit $560,421.14 that was seized from the Maziv Entertainment LLC bank account as well as a litany of expensive cars: a 2014 Mercedes-Benz G550, a 2017 Land Rover Range Rover Sv Autobiography, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium, a 2020 Mercedes Benz Model E450A, a 2016 Cadillac Escalade and a 2018 Dodge Charger. She also has agreed to liquidate three Connecticut properties that she owns or co-owns to help satisfy her restitution obligation. A property she owns in Georgia is also subject to seizure and liquidation.

Petrone-Codrington did not pay taxes on the money she received from selling the stolen equipment. She filed false federal tax returns for the 2013 through 2016 tax years in which she claimed as business expenses the costs of the stolen equipment, and failed to file any federal tax returns for the 2017 through 2020 tax years, according to the DOJ press release. This caused a loss of $6,416,618 to the U.S. Treasury. 

According to the complaint, Petrone-Codrington provided a voluntary statement to law enforcement on or around Aug. 26. Among other things, she admitted to having devised and executed the scheme, and indicated that it had been going on for several years, possibly as many as 10. Petrone-Codrington estimated that approximately 90 percent of her computer-related purchases were fraudulent.

She pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of filing a false tax return, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years. 

The lawyer representing Petrone-Codrington could not be located or identified by the News. Petrone-Codrington could not immediately be reached for comment.

Petrone-Codrington is scheduled to be sentenced by the U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on June 29, 2022.


Hannah Qu covers Cops and Courts. Originally from Jinan, China, she is a first year in Trumbull College.

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Women’s Basketball Schedule Update – Niagara University Athletics

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY – Due to weather and travel issues, the Niagara women’s basketball’s contest with Canisius, originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. has been moved to a 6 p.m. tip from the Gallagher Center tomorrow.  
The Purple Eagles will celebrate its four seniors prior to the start of Saturday’s game with the Golden Griffins.
Niagara fell in its most recent contest against Saint Peter’s and is now 12-14 overall and 9-9 in league play.
For ticket inquiries, fans are encouraged to call (716) 286-TIXX (8499) or email for more information.

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