Tag: jefferson varner IV

Hearing date set for alleged BB gun vandals

The Jacksonville Police Department (JPD) apprehended three individuals last month on suspicion of connection with several acts of vandalism that extended from the JSU campus to areas near Weaver.

Post-preliminary hearings will begin for the accused on January 28, according to The Anniston Star.

Throughout the fall semester of 2015, several JSU students’ vehicles were damaged by BBs from BB guns. The vandalism intensified when the crime spread from Jacksonville to Weaver. The vandals eventually moved from shooting cars to also windows and housing units in Calhoun County neighborhoods.

Around 11 p.m. on December 8, 2015, JPD officials received a tip to look for three individuals driving around in a silver 1999 Honda Accord, according to The Anniston Star.

The Star later confirmed that police stopped the vehicle at George Douthit Drive Southwest “for allegedly running a stop sign.”

When inspecting the vehicle, JPD officials found the trio in possession of “marijuana, drug paraphernalia, alcohol, BB pistols” and “carbon dioxide canisters,” according to WBRC: Fox 6 News.

The three suspects, Michael Frankum, Matthew Frankum, and Shannon Brooks, were sent to both the Jacksonville and Calhoun County Jails. On December 16, they faced a combined total of 188 charges for alleged acts of vandalism in Weaver and Jacksonville.

The suspects could face a jail sentence ranging from two to 20 years, especially if convicted for the felony charges involving shooting cars and buildings, along with the misdemeanor drug and alcohol charges.

The sentences could likely be extended since more citizens who have been victimized are continuing to come forward. Calhoun County resident Katie Donahue said that, during the week of December 5, her neighborhood was exposed to a series of crimes.

Donahue said that during that week, while shopping at Walgreen’s, she discovered that her mini-van bumper was damaged from what she assumed was BB gun ammunition. Donahue’s fellow neighbors revealed to her that their car windows had been shot up by the same type of weaponry.

The incidents were not reported to the JPD after a close source indicated that the case had already been closed. Neither JPD or UPD could be reached for comment.

Jefferson Varner IV
Staff Reporter

Big news busters from over the holiday break

While classes were dismissed for the holiday break, several things were happening on campus and nationwide.

Star athlete Peyton Manning has faced heated allegations of steroid and human growth hormone use after Middle Eastern reporting agency Al Jazeera first broke the questionable report. In wake of being “that angry,” Manning said to the press that he would probably sue the journalistic unit for their “misconstrued” publication.

Sorely missed hip-hop artist Missy Elliott returned to the music scene after seven years of inactivity as a leading musician. Elliott has risen to the top 10 of several music charts with her latest club offering “WTF (Where They From),” which is currently used for Ellen DeGeneres’ Dance Challenge.

For those JSU students or Jacksonville residents tired of the same food, maybe Dairy Queen can help. The tasty franchise is to make its 2016 debut in town across the nearby Grub Mart. The Anniston Star reported the business will have three flat-screen televisions, phone chargers and WiFi.

The notorious and unapologetic ‘hacktivist’ unit that is simply known as Anonymous made a break across the news boards with its announcement to hijack terrorist group ISIS’ social media networking systems.

The terrorists dubbed the potential move ‘idiotic,’ but it appears by way of CNBC that Anonymous garnered the last laugh as they reportedly “trolled” and “erased” hundreds of Facebook and Twitter accounts affiliated with ISIS.

Some remember her as the emotional Christine in the 2004 flick Crash, along with her love interest role in the 2007 comedy picture Norbit, but to a new-sort-of audience, Thandie Newton may have to settle with being the one who voiced outrage against Starbucks’ display of a racially offensive statue.

The British actress snapped a photograph of a figure placed on a front-counter that represented a safari-clothed black child holding a basket of cocoa beans, and then leaked it to Twitter. People reported that about six hours later, Starbucks responded to the tweet and assured Newton that the statue would be immediately removed.

Two crimes occurred nearby campus, both occurring roughly one week apart. The first included the BB gunfire spree that extended from JSU grounds to bordering city Weaver. The other involved two teens getting hospitalized after an alleged brawl outside the off-campus McDonald’s, as stated by WBRC.

Former United States President Jimmy Carter is still going strong. The 91-year-old hero disclosed to The Today Show that he has fully recovered from brain cancer. How exactly? Sources indicate that Carter presumably utilized a combination of an expensive drug and effective immunotherapy.

Krampus wasn’t the only spectacular hit in the film world last month. A trailer for the eye-popping Pride and Prejudice and Zombies hit the net, and has since been the talk around campus.

Following hefty delays in development and production stages, the film, which stars Natalie Portman, is to see light next month.

Jefferson Varner IV
Staff Reporter

Welcome back from Thanksgiving concert to be held Friday

Are your musical senses tingling? Perhaps it is because this Friday, a free concert, Welcome Back #JaxSU, will be held at the Jacksonville Square establishment Brother’s bar.

The event will feature an array of multi-genre acts such as math rock collective Pace House and hip-hop sensation Blake Graham. The versatile post-Thanksgiving showcase will run from 9 p.m. until whenever the party stops, and is opened for ages 18 and up.

Graham made Chanticleer headlines earlier this year for dancing on the JSU quad and happens to be both the lead headliner and main organizer of the event.

He said he felt it was necessary to give the JSU students something to do “when they [return] from their [Thanksgiving] break.”

His and performers’ dream outcome for the event is for people to have a good time and to spread the word of their showcase numbers.As an artist, Blake Graham hopes potential attendees who may be inexperienced to his sound will enjoy the show.

Other than him and Pace House gracing the stage, four other acts will attain the experience in hopes of captivating attention from the Jacksonville crowd.

Remaining line-up performers include Thump, David Lewis, The Sunsets, Couture Major and Black Label; the latter of which will be granted a 10-minute spot.

As in some familiar concerts, promotional items such as CDs and T-shirts are often sold at the door to encourage event-goers to check out more of the performers’ material.

However, lead organizer Graham confirms that he may be the only crowd-thumper selling items.

“I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m gonna set up a booth that’ll have CDs like my 6-track EP that will be on sell for $3, and then my last full-length mixtape ‘Co-Creation,’ which will be on sell for $5,” said Graham.

In regards to guests, disc jockey Ace Twan of 91.9 FM WLJS will be the DJ for the sets, as others like communication major, Gabrielle  Ferrell of N-GEN and local female pact Pretty Face Promotions have been in talks to assist in promoting the show.

With so much effort and energy being put in the show, many have grown curious in the recent days as to why the concert is signified “so special” unlike previous events.

Graham proudly confirms that it is a free concert – a great deal for some JSU students, especially following the hectic rituals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

With the mention of the concert being free making moves across town, Blake Graham is hoping people will “just come see and give [him and the
musicians] a chance.”

The proud organizer and aspiring rapper questions, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Graham even blatantly addresses to those who may be still undecided in showing up to the lively experience.

“You go to the show, have a good time, this is a free concert, you don’t have to pay anything,” he said.

But Graham’s focus is not fixated on those still in the deciding, he is more interested in channeling the energy from those excited to appear at the event. Something he said he will be deeply appreciative of.

Jefferson Varner IV
Staff Reporter

JSU students explore different culture in Costa Rica

JSU students got the chance to experience Costa Rica this past summer. They were able to explore and view the local customs for a number of weeks.
Organized by Spanish instructor Dr. Pacheco, the tour to third-world Costa Rica was designated as an out-of-the-country opportunity to learn Spanish; and yes, credit hours were granted to participating students.
The trip began in early May, and included students like Alabama resident Michael Megill.
Megill noted that during his weekly stay within the deemed “impoverished” zone, water was not in the “best form;” it was priced much higher than average commodities like alcohol, which sold for one dollar in American currency.
It was not only the aquatic essentials that caught the avid sightseer off-guard. Megill noticed the large presence of construction being done close to where he was staying..
“I believe the [Costa Rican] government is doing a reform on things,” Megill recollected on his sighting of the reconstruction. “I can’t say for certain [if the] construction [is pertaining to any recent government regulation].”
Once students nestled into their respective units, they visited several local spots. Several attendees visited bars; while the drinks garnered excellent reception from students, Megill awakened to a horrendous stomach ache the next morning.
He blamed food from street vendors for his illness, and had trouble finding both a health diagnosis and a credible hospital. It did not take very long for him to speak with a local health official, who informed him that he’d have to “drink” to make his ache go away.
This statement was not surprising to him. Megill said that since alcohol is readily accessible and more affordable than water, strong beverages are often the “go-to” tactics when someone is experiencing minor health problems.
Megill also said that when he and another girl were heading back to their rooms, they spotted a man urinating in an open street; local bystanders continued about their route as if the man’s behavior was normal.
Overall, the students that attended the summer expedition enjoyed and embraced their weekly stay in Costa Rica. After gaining further insight into Hispanic culture, students were very pleased by the experience.
Recently, fellow Spanish instructor Dr. Martinez hinted at a returning summer expedition. This one would either take students to Colombia, or back to Costa Rica. Martinez said that those interested in visiting these Spanish-speaking countries must speak directly to Dr. Pacheco; his office is located in Stone Center.

Jefferson Varner IV
Staff Reporter

JSU fraternity chapter revoked

Jacksonville State University fraternity unit Sigma Phi Epsilon is to face a three-year shut-down, following heated allegations of hazing activity.

The victim in question made it known on the weekend of September 2 that Epsilon was the focal point of his long-enduring “depression,” following the allegations of sporting “improper public apparel,” that allegedly comprised of a “suit and tie,” according to a close source off-campus.

The claim comes as no joke, as wearing “public apparel [in] conspicuous and not normally in good taste,” is boldly outlined and supported within the 2015-2016 JSU Handbook under ‘hazing policy.’

Since the alleged details violated a section of the JSU policy, a month’s-worth investigation was launched by collegiate officials throughout the month of September, placing Sigma Phi Epsilon on suspension.

This effectively posed a potential threat to the fraternity’s reputation as the Greek chapter serves as the rare fraternity establishment to maintain official housing on-campus.

On October 4, it was readily decided by its national organization that Sigma Phi Epsilon was to be shut-down, and to not become eligible for rechartering until 2018.

As an immediate result, brothers of the fraternity program were ordered to clear the Sigma Phi Epsilon house prior to an estimated deadline of one week.

A non-regional native shared with The Chanticleer that the respective members of the fraternity chapter have been “heavily distraught” over the recent shut down, and more deliberately the “rushed move out” process.

As of yet, there has been no confirmation if the now-defunct Sigma Phi Epsilon members will file a court appeal, despite selective public recommendation.

In the meantime, several are trying to evaluate and determine the authentic nature of the still-developing episode. JSU Public Relations Director Buffy Lockette, who was among the informed, has not received further insight regarding the hazing claim, however did state: “[The Epsilon fraternity] has three years till eligible reinstatement.”

Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs Dr. Timothy King, who was a major key element to the height of the event, could not be reached for comment.

The baffling allegations of hazing activity occurring within JSU’s closest quarters does not necessarily stop short of similar scenarios that have occurred in past time.

In late 2011, off-campus residential chapter Alpha Phi Alpha endured suspension after two students were sent to the hospital for concealed injuries pertaining to hazing routines, according to “WBRC FOX6 News.” Lockette refused to comment on the prior incident.

Jefferson Varner IV
Staff Reporter