The quick and dirty of entertainment news and trends you need to know.
By Cheryl Nuzum
This past summer has been one for the books. While the majority of us spent our summers taking online classes and trying to avoid sunburns, the rest of the world kept on spinning. There’s been no shortage of campaign news, unfortunate tragedies and our very own Southern/Statesboro happenings. Between the good, the bad, and the ugly, here’s what you need to know:
On June 10th, former finalist on The Voice, Christina Grimmie, was shot dead while signing autographs following a performance in Orlando, Fl. The shooter was a crazed fan, identified as Kevin James Loibl, who acted alone before turning the gun on himself. Adam Levine, Grimmie’s former coach on The Voice paid for the funeral expenses as a tribute for family.
Two days later, the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. occurred when Pulse nightclub in Orlando was attacked by a man named Omar Mateen. After pledging allegiance to the terrorist-group ISIS, Mateen began shooting inside the nightclub, killing 49 and wounding 53 before being shot dead by police. The attack is the considered the worst terrorist attack after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Although no open dates have been set for either restaurant, both are under construction and will hopefully open later this fall. Panda Express will reside on Fair Road near McDonald’s while Krispy Kreme will be located on Northside Drive next to Taco Bell.
Former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner was found guilty in March of raping an unconscious fellow student behind a dumpster. The judge presiding over the case, Judge Aaron Perksy, delivered a controversial sentence of six-month’s jail time with probation. Almost immediately after delivering the sentence, a petition went viral on the internet to recall the judge. The victim’s 12-page letter written to attacker also went viral, along with a letter written by Turner’s father in which he objects to what he sees as a harsh sentence for his son and describes the crime as “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
Following a 22 year hiatus from Georgia Southern, Panhellenic sorority Chi Omega returns this fall. Although they did not participate in formal recruitment, the chapter will begin their own recruitment following the beginning of the semester. Alumnae have maintained the lot on Greek Row for the house and plans have been made to break ground in spring 2018.
The official nominees for the upcoming presidential election have been named, with the Democratic party supporting career politician Hillary Clinton and the Republican Party supporting newcomer businessman Donald Trump. Both candidates have already named their running mates: Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Mike Pence, respectively.
Tragedy struck closed to home at Georgia Southern’s when seven nursing students were involved in a fatal car accident in April 2015, killing five students and injuring two. Now, over a year later, an indictment for the truck driver who hit the girls has officially been issued. John Wayne Johnson, along with his trucking company Total Transportation, have been charged with five counts of first degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, failure to exercise due care and following too closely.
On July 7, Michael Smith was found hanging from a tree in Piedmont Park. The incident was initially ruled as a suicide but eventually referred to the FBI due to its controversial nature. Many speculators have commented on the man’s race and the lynch-like scene, citing possible involvement with the KKK. Officials have denied any such involvement. Reports have since come out stating that Smith struggled with his race and sexuality for some time prior.
A childhood favorite of many millennials (among other generations) was brought to life when PokemonGo officially launched this summer. The game allows users to virtually catch Pokemon in real-life settings, prompting them to take the game beyond just the screen. Businesses have begun to capitalize on the game by creating PokeStops. The game has also been cited as a way to help relieve anxiety for many people who find more comfort in the virtual world but still allow them to interact socially.
The NCAA handed down a few penalties against the football department following a two-year long cheating investigation. The incidents occurred on two separate occasions during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In both cases, members of the staff – a former assistant compliance director and former assistant director of student athlete services – assisted players in their coursework to obtain better grades. Georgia Southern has been stripped of two football scholarships for one year, probation until July 2018, a fine of $5,000 plus 1 percent of the program’s budget, and a vacation of three wins from the 2013 season.
During the Bastille Day holiday in Nice, France a terrorist attack occurred ultimately killing 85 people. After first firing a gun into the crowds, a man identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove his truck through, plowing over people before eventually exchange gunfire with police and being fatally shot. The attack comes less than a year after the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Eagle Nation welcomes a new leader this summer. Dr. Jaimie Hebert assumed his new position on July 1 after previously working at Sam Houston State University. He and new football head coach Tyson Summers both were baptized in Eagle Creek to celebrate the tradition and kick off the upcoming season.