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Brandon Murphy and the Miami offense have yet to hit their stride this season but face off against a Northern Illinois team ranked 103 nationally in total defense.

Football aims to contain nation's leading rusher Sunday at Yager

Chris Rule, Senior Staff WriterBrandon Murphy and the Miami offense have yet to hit their stride this season but face off against a Northern Illinois team ranked 103 nationally in total defense. (Michael Pickering)After five games, the Miami University RedHawks (0-5 overall, 0-1 Mid-American Conference) are still hoping to get rid of the goose egg in their win column. The newest obstacle in their way is Heisman Trophy candidate Garrett Wolfe and the Northern Illinois Huskies (3-2 overall, 2-1 overall), who come to Yager Stadium for a Sunday night showdown at 8 p.m."They've got the No. 1 rusher in the country from last season back in Garrett Wolfe, and he is even better this year," said Head Coach Shane Montgomery. "We're not going to get much sleep this week thinking about him. It's going to be a challenge not only for the defense to stop him but for the offense to keep the defense off the field and score enough points."Wolfe is currently averaging 236 yards per game, 75 yards ahead of the next closest back. The Northern Illinois offense is ranked fourth nationally in total offense and the RedHawks will be hard-pressed to stop their attack."I think the main thing we have to do is play assignment football, everyone to get in their gaps and everyone make plays," said senior free safety Joey Card. "(Wolfe's) rushing for 236 yards a game, so right now I don't think we actually stop him, but we just have to contain him and limit the big plays."The defense will be looking to the 'Hawks' offensive attack to give them some help by putting points on the board and taking time off the clock. The RedHawks' offense has struggled of late, failing to score more than 14 points in any of their last three games."That's been the theme all season; we have had trouble putting up points," said quarterback Mike Kokal. "But look at the second half of the Purdue game (when Miami scored 28 points); we are able to put up points."Kokal was not in action this past week against University of Cincinnati due to persistent headaches throughout the week but said he is feeling better and eager to play. Helping his case is the fact that the Huskies' defense is not on par with their high-powered offense."Defensively, Northern Illinois is giving up some points and yardage," Montgomery said. "They have some speed but they're not as big up front as the teams we've faced so far. Our No. 1 concern isn't the Northern Illinois defense as much as it is our offense. We've had some problems offensively, and we need to run the football."The RedHawks hope that healthy linemen and a healthy Brandon Murphy will give them that running attack that is needed.Adding to their scoring potential is the re-emergence of their potent special teams. Ryne Robinson returned a punt for a touchdown against Cincinnati and freshman kicker Trevor Cook booted a 49-yard field goal, giving the Red and White consistency they have not had yet this season.However they perform, it will all be witnessed live on ESPN, which is televising the homecoming showdown. Though it may bring more fans, Card says that it shouldn't change the game for them."Anytime you are playing a homecoming, there is that extra incentive," Card said. "But I need to focus on doing my responsibility. If you get caught up in the ESPN hype, it gets you out of your game."Because the MAC race is still open, Miami is still holding on to hope that it can contend for the title. Montgomery said he hopes this game may be the start of their fortunes changing."We have to treat our record as being 0-1 and not 0-5, because that's what matters right now," he said. "Our nonconference games were big games that we didn't win, but they don't hurt our chances in the MAC. Last year we started 0-1 in the MAC too, but we regained control of our destiny by the end of the season"


National funding helps to improve disaster preparations

Michelle Lohmann and Jonathon WilliamsIn the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack, Miami University would be sufficiently prepared, according to Lt. Andrew Powers, administrative lieutenant of Miami University's Police Department (MUPD). Tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina and September 11 have spurred many universities, including Miami, to improve their emergency response systems and reevaluate their preparedness in the face of a disaster. Although Miami had emergency plans in place long before events such as September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, additional national funding and planning because of these catastrophes have improved many of the existent strategies. "They weren't the catalysts that got us thinking about these things; they led to the creation of funding that allowed us to enhance and improve what we were already doing," Powers said.John McCandless, chief of the Miami Police Department, said that a hard dollar number cannot be placed on the funds that have come in, since many of the improvements are the result of services provided by the federal government, or the results of reallocating of funds already available.Some of the services and improvements, McCandless said, have come in the form of preparedness training, with a Special Response Team touring buildings on campus over the summer to get a feel for their layouts, should it become necessary to deal with a hostage situation or shooting on campus."We try to think up any reasonable scenario that could happen and address that specifically," McCandless said.McCandless said that the university has been equipped with gas masks, a K-9 unit for the purposes of bomb-sniffing and 500 Mhz radios to make communication with Oxford and Oxford Township police easier."If you read the report submitted by the 9/11 Commission, one of the big points seems to be that entities weren't communicating," McCandless said. "If something happens here, we're all in this together (with the OPD and Oxford Township police)."The MUPD has a number of other precautionary measures, should the need arise, including evacuation plans for structures like Yager Stadium and Millett Hall and electronic information-sharing systems that alert Miami police about regional and national threats. The MUPD also has an Emergency Operations Center on its premises, set up with infrastructure from which commanders may coordinate the deployment of resources during an emergency."I think that we're as prepared as we can be," Powers said. "No one can look into the future to see what attacks might occur, but I think in terms of making reasonable preparations for things that could potentially happen that Miami is prepared." Miami also learns from the mistakes other organizations have made, through reading reports and summaries regarding what actions were and were not effective in dealing with a specific crisis."Each office learns a great deal about its own operations from the information provided by professional organizations, insurance companies, and often the schools that were most affected by the disasters," said Paul Allen, director of business services. "We all use this information to adjust our plans." Currently, Miami has its own Continuous Operations Plan, which was published in 2004. The plan consists of general strategies for dealing with an emergency, along with a continuous operations or disaster recovery plan. The Continuous Operations Plan includes pre-disaster actions, post-disaster actions, shelter instructions and continuous operation plans for immediate, interim and long-term university operations. "The plans identify key personnel within the organization, as well as crucial outside contacts such as police, fire, medical, and emergency management organizations in the area," Allen said. Increased awareness of disaster planning issues over the past several years has led Miami to join several other universities in forming the Business Continuity Planning Federation, Miami's membership becoming effective this past July 1, Allen said. The group allows greater sharing of vital information relating to emergency management. Schools involved include Ohio State University, Ohio University, Wright State, University of Toledo, University of Akron, Youngstown State and Cleveland State. Although Miami has not had to deal with any significant emergencies, planning and training for such events is ongoing. "We have conducted several 'table-top' exercises, where scenarios are simulated in order to test decision making and communications channels," Allen said. Miami is also involved in planning for a possible avian flu pandemic, with Jim Schlager, director of the health center currently chairing a committee that is looking into ways to cope and respond should a pandemic arise, Allen said. The university has dealt with smaller scale emergencies in the past, including weather evacuations from Yager Stadium, and a chemical spill in Hughes Hall in 1998. In all the instances, the events were dealt with smoothly and successfully. "On a smaller level, the university has been dealing with these things successfully for many years," Powers said.


Strickland's economic plan trounces Blackwell's

(Eric Frey)Gubernatorial candidates Kenneth Blackwell and Ted Strickland conducted their second debate in a series of three. Taking place at the University of Cincinnati, the two candidates together answered a total of 11 questions from journalists, focusing mainly on the economy. The two addressed a broad array of issues and, in the opinion of the editorial board, Strickland emerged with a better plan to revitalized Ohio's struggling economy.One problem with these televised debates is the emphasis placed upon visual perceptions of the candidates. Focus is removed from the issues and candidates seek to manipulate their appearance to appeal to voters. It is important for voters to focus less on the outward appearance and image of candidates and more on the actual policies presented. In this debate, Strickland emitted a more confident and articulate posture than Blackwell, but it was his policy ideas that won him the debate. In regard to a revitalization of the state economy, Blackwell presented a platform of tax cuts evolving into an eventual flat tax. This flat tax, combined with spending caps, will supposedly help create fiscal stability for the government while also attracting small businesses to Ohio, creating new jobs. However, Blackwell was vague when addressing what would be cut from the budget to finance his proposed tax cuts. On the other hand, Strickland's focus for job creation was a plan to invest in Ohio's strengths, such as funding for the high-tech alternative energy sector that is growing within the state, particularly with regards to ethanol. Also, throughout the debate Strickland focused on the importance of education in transitioning Ohio to a high-tech economic future. Strickland proposed increased funding for base learning at lower grade levels as well as more funding to decrease the costs of higher education.A major component of Blackwell's platform is the importance of tax cuts to stimulate economic growth. Strickland's primary answer is that the Ohio General Assembly has recently passed a massive tax reform package designed to bring more businesses into Ohio. Strickland argues that it is better to follow through on these reforms to maintain stability in the tax code rather than risk another change.One more debate remains before the election and voters still have time to decide which candidate to support. No matter who leads in the polls, all voters should resolve to make their choice Nov. 7 and cast a ballot for the candidate they feel will most effectively lead Ohio to a better future.


We must protect this house

Emile DawishaThis is truly an unprecedented weekend at Miami.Sure, like any other homecoming weekend, the hotels are booked, houses are bejeweled with red and white, and our campus is strewn with autumn-plush leaves. But with 15 Miami sporting events on tap for this weekend - three of them nationally televised - this is truly a homecoming worth getting exciting about.Like many of you, I've never bought into the splendor and stateliness of this October tradition.But this year, think of all the compelling storylines.Of course, the Ice Breaker Tournament and the official unveiling of Steve Cady Arena at Goggin Ice Center for RedHawks ice hockey needs no endorsement: It's No. 8 Miami versus No. 9 Denver in one of the most anticipated sporting events in school history.For the many of you who will be turned away at the Goggin gates, don't worry: The entire two-day tournament will be televised on ESPNU, which the on-campus cable program carries, as do most bars. Friday's broadcast will additionally be shown on a screen in the intramural arena.This two-day tournament is the feature attraction of homecoming weekend. But the event that will generate the most national buzz is Sunday's football game against Northern Illinois and its record-setting running back, Garrett Wolfe.Wolfe, through five games, has rushed for an astonishing 1,128 yards and is coming off a 353-yard performance against Ball State. Despite his team's two losses, the 5-foot-7 senior speedster can't possibly be ignored as a Heisman contender. With a player like Wolfe, especially against a 0-5 Miami team, a 100-yard game just won't suffice for this ESPN audience - I'd be shocked if the RedHawks keep him under 200 yards in the game.While walking to the football game, be sure to stop by the brand new softball diamond, perched on a hill between Yager Stadium and Millett Hall. This state-of-the-art $4.5 million facility will host the 10-team Miami Fall Invitational Saturday and Sunday.Miami plays Dayton and Eastern Kentucky Saturday and Ohio State and Northern Kentucky Sunday in what will be their final games of the fall schedule. If possible, I recommend sitting on the open grass seating sections above the home and visitor dugouts.Other events taking place include women's soccer games Friday and Sunday, field hockey matches Saturday and Sunday, a women's volleyball match at Millett Hall Friday and a women's tennis invitational Saturday and Sunday.Sadly, most of our fall teams are having subpar seasons. But in the grand scheme of things, it's not the actual sports that enrich the fervor of the weekend.Historically, homecoming has been defined by its parade, or by the crackling bonfire on Cook Field or the dance at Withrow Court.This weekend, sporting events may be the big draw. But most of all, homecoming is about amalgamating past and present generations and enjoying the final days of warm weather. So while I normally let college and pro football rule my life Saturdays and Sundays, maybe this weekend I'll take exception. I hope you will too.

Under its current D-6 liquor permit Kroger is allowed to sell wine after 1 p.m. and beer all day Sundays.

Kroger's hours for Sunday alcohol sales to be decided in Nov. election

Sarah FosterUnder its current D-6 liquor permit Kroger is allowed to sell wine after 1 p.m. and beer all day Sundays. (Lauren Fleming)Oxford voters will have a chance to decide Nov. 7 on an issue that will have some Miami University students looking forward to expanding their alcohol purchasing possibilities, and some residents concerned that a current local problem will only be exacerbated. If passed, Issue 27 will expand the sale of wine and mixed beverages Sundays from 10 a.m. to midnight at Oxford's Kroger. At Kroger, beer is sold all day Sunday, and wine is currently only sold after 1 p.m. under its D-6 liquor permit. This permit varies from state to state at Kroger stores, said Abe Lawson, assistant manager at Kroger.Lawson said that if this issue passes, he doubts that there will be an increase in sales."I don't think would show a spike in sales," Lawson said. "Customers always inquire about how late we sell liquor at night, but few ask when we start selling on Sunday and why."Stores that already sell liquor on Sundays include Wal-Mart and U Shop. Wal-Mart sells all liquor after 1 p.m. and U-Shop, which has a bar license until 2:30 a.m., can sell liquor on Sundays as long as it is bottled at or below 44 proof. Oxford Spirits, Oxford's only full-service liquor store, is closed Sundays.Other businesses said they do not feel threatened by the possibility of losing sales if Issue 27 were to pass. Andrew Reber, a senior at Miami who works at U Shop, said he thinks that the issue is not going to be a very big deal to students. "I doubt we would see any change in sales if the issue passes," Reber said. "(Sunday) is our slowest day of sales."The Den, also located uptown, cannot sell wine or distilled alcohol at all on Sundays - it only sells beer."I don't see a big deal with this issue," said sophomore Chrissy Rother who works at the Den. "People are going to buy alcohol on any other day anyways, so what is the difference if it can now be sold for a longer time on Sundays."Rother said that a community member came to her residence about three weeks ago with a petition in favor of wine and mixed beverage sale on Sunday at Kroger.Various churches and religious organizations are opposed to the passage of Issue 27, including the Oxford United Methodist church and Christian Student Fellowship. Fred Shaw, senior pastor at Oxford United Methodist Church, said he believes regardless of whether Issue 27 passes or not, the real issue at hand is irresponsible consumption."The problem is not whether or not Kroger will be permitted to increase the availability of alcohol, but rather the present irresponsible use of alcohol by legal drinkers and its accessibility to underage drinkers," Shaw said.Shaw stressed that more important than Issue 27 is the fact that the community must work together to ensure the safety of Miami students and Oxford residents. He cited statistics from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism showing that alcohol contributes to about 1,400 deaths and 500,000 injuries per year for college students. The crimes during the first week of the 2006-07 school year, Shaw said, are an example of how this problem is prevalent at Miami. "I think the culture has changed significantly, and self-policing would be a whole lot better than legislation," Shaw said.Ben Williams, former leader of the Student Christian Fellowship, agreed with Shaw that Issue 27 is not a major problem on its own, but that it will not help the culture of drinking at Miami."I don't think this measure will increase the drinking problem at Miami; I think it will provide easier access to a piece of the problem," Williams said.

Former Special Envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross speaks on the current political and military situation in the region.

Ambassador addresses Middle East

Laura HouserFormer Special Envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross speaks on the current political and military situation in the region. (Michael Pickering)It was former President Bill Clinton who once said "no one has worked harder for peace than Ambassador Ross."With these glowing words of introduction, Ambassador Dennis Ross took the stage of Hall Auditorium Thursday afternoon, speaking on U.S. foreign policy and the delicate political situation in the Middle East. As a former special envoy to the Middle East, Ross is a distinguished diplomat and scholar, with more than two decades of experience in the Soviet Union and Middle East. Before retiring in 2001, he had worked for the Reagan, H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations.Yet, while Ross is most known for his role in brokering some of the most important peace contracts of the 1990s, Thursday afternoon he spoke strictly on the current state of affairs in the Middle East - especially the politically volatile conflict between Hezbollah and Israel."There is a fundamental need to address the Middle East when you're talking about U.S. foreign policy," Ross said. "The focal point of foreign policy today is the Middle Eastern focal point. Everything is going to be seen through that lens." And the focal point of the hour seems to be the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, one that escalated during the past summer into a brutal struggle, capturing the world's attention. But even with the current cease-fire, Ross stressed that violence could soon escalate again if something is not done to control the flow of arms into Lebanon from Syria. "My fear that I have," Ross said, "is the resupply of Hezbollah." Ross went on to explain that this would then demand negotiations with Syria - which Ross presented as a process of give and take. "Is it possible to affect Syrian behavior?" Ross said. "If we stay on the path we're on, the answer is no. If you want to change their behavior, you're going to have to build your leverage." According to Ross, this would include cooperation with Europe in economic and political sanctions.Ross, now a Ziegler Distinguished Fellow as well as a published author, was introduced by President David Hodge, who expressed the special importance of Ross's visit. "Our nation has asked Ambassador Ross to shape some of the most difficult policy challenges of our time," Hodge said.And with the Middle East still in a state of political and military tumult, Ross's insights come at a needed time. Lisa Armstrong, a first-year attending the event, stressed the relevance of the topic, as it impacts everyone."I wanted to hear someone who knows what he's talking about and (hear) what he has to say," said Armstrong, who is considering a major in diplomacy and foreign affairs.Under President Clinton, Ross was awarded the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. He also received the State Department's highest award from Secretaries of State James Baker and Madeleine Albright for his integral role in the 1994 Israel-Jordan treaty, the 1997 Hebron Accord, and other peace contracts.

The Animal Friends Humane Society will accept any animals in Butler County, as it is the only open admissions shelter in the county.

Tax levy for animal shelter on Nov. ballot

Cammie PattersonThe Animal Friends Humane Society will accept any animals in Butler County, as it is the only open admissions shelter in the county. (Alex Turvy)This November, Butler County citizens will vote on a tax levy that would raise money to improve a local animal shelter, which has recently generated concern over its cramped, unsanitary conditions.Issue 12 would raise taxes for one year to benefit Animal Friends Humane Society. It is the only open admissions shelter; accepting all animals, even aggressive and sick ones; in Butler County. The shelter receives roughly 24 animals a day, totaling 7,000 a year. Officials from the shelter say the current 54-year-old facility is outdated, crowded and unsanitary. The shelter is not able to contain all the animals that are brought in each day, consequently causing thousands of animals to be euthanized each year. Leland Gordon, executive director of Animal Friends Humane Society, urged voters to keep this fact in mind Nov. 7 at the polls.Gordon explained that Animal Friends needs this revenue because as an open admission shelter, it is increasingly crowded."Because we are an open admission animal shelter, we don't turn any animals away," Gordon said. "We are the only shelter in Butler County taking this volume of animals which leads to overcrowding in the shelter. Animals are even stacked three on top of each other; when an animal on the top row goes to the bathroom, it consequently falls on top of the other two animals." While the conditions at Animal Friends are subpar, the shelter does not fall behind in any codes or restrictions that it needs to follow to operate, according to Gordon.Issue 12 proposes a one-year tax levy - an increase in the money the county can bring in through property taxes. If it passes, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $15. According to Sondra Engel from the League of Women's voters, the primary opposition to Issue 12 would be that many voters simply do not want to pay higher taxes."It can be difficult to pass a levy which is based on property tax," Engel said. "Many families feel that they can not afford to pay more money on their property." Because the issue regards treatment of animals - not a typically controversial topic - Engel said that there will not likely be much vocal resistance to it."This is an issue however, in which you will not see signs in opposition, due to the nature of the levy," Engel said. "People will not openly oppose helping animals, it will be a quiet disagreement."Gordon said Butler County residents should be willing to pay for the shelter because it provides a public service."Animals Friends is everyone's responsibility and serves all of Butler County," Gordon said. "If there is an animal in your backyard that you want removed, the police or animal control will then bring the animal to this facility. The shelter is a reflection of the community, and as it currently stands, it is a poor reflection of Butler County."The new tax levy would generate almost $3.8 million for the facility, allowing the shelter to install advance air exchange systems in place of the current septic system, which has poor ventilation, causing animals to become ill. The new system would also provide modern housing to help alleviate the crowding of the large number of animals living in the shelter.Gordon said that improving the shelter is also necessary for the humans who work there."We have many volunteers from adults to young children, boy scouts and girl scouts," he said. "The unclean facility is not a healthy place for these children to be. A new, modern facility may also draw in more volunteers for these animals."Miami University students are among these volunteers. A group of Miami students from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars plans to visit the Animal Friends Humane Society Oct. 21.Many Miami students also frequently adopt dogs for a day from the Animal Adoption Foundation on Route 27, a different animal shelter, which is partial admission and has a no-kill policy. It takes as many animals as it has room for, and tries to help owners find other options when they don't have room.Meagan Dickemann, who has adopted dogs from the Animal Adoption Foundation on several different occasions, said that students should take an initiative and raise more awareness about the needs and poor conditions neglected animals face. "I have read several articles about the horrible sanitary conditions the animals are subjected to in the Butler County Animal Friends shelter," Dickemann said. "I hope the levy is approved and will help provide a better home for these animals."Gordon again urged voters to approved Issue 12."You can tell a lot from a person about how they treat people, but you can tell more from a person about how they treat animals," Gordon said.


Greek party cautions against alcohol abuse

Cassidy Pazyniak and Jonathon WilliamsMiami University Greek students participated in some risky business Tuesday, Oct.3, at a "mocktail" party, with the intent of educating members on the dangers of alcohol abuse and irresponsible partying.A group consisting of two sororities and two fraternities threw a fake party, Risky Business, where members were mock-arrested by police - all to the surprise of partygoers."If I watched the president of my chapter being carted off in handcuffs because of something I did, it would certainly impact me," said senior Katie Kolar, president of Gamma Phi Beta. "But again, the most important part of this function is ... (showing our members) how much we care about their safety."Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Gamma, Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Phi Epsilon planned this event hoping it would open up their members' eyes to the risks and consequences that they face at college."I decided that it would be really beneficial for Gamma Phi to participate in this event because we are really trying to focus on risk management and responsible actions by our members, especially at parties," said junior Katherine Ruhl, the standards chairwoman for Gamma Phi Beta. "I felt this program would be a good way for our chapter to see how their actions affect not only themselves, but our whole chapter."The event started as a normal party, with non-alcoholic beer being served to add to the atmosphere. Then, a member became "too drunk" and the partygoers were forced to call 911. Once the Oxford Police Department (OPD) and Oxford Fire Department (OFD) arrived, the presidents of the chapters who were responsible for the party were arrested. After the party was over, the Oxford Police gave a speech on alcohol safety and statistics to the remaining members of the chapters that had been watching the event.Senior Kristian Spencer, the president of Delta Gamma, was very appreciative of the role the Oxford stations played in the event. "The OPD and OFD have always been very willing to help out ... Risky Business has been an event that Delta Gamma has done for over seven years," Spencer said.Kolar hoped the element of surprise would cause the greatest impact."We (were) hoping for our youngest members to be the most surprised and the most affected," Kolar explained. "... It will be their job to pass this lesson on to future members."Sgt. Jim Squance of the OPD said that the department takes the event seriously, seeing it as an opportunity to further educate members of the Miami community on the dangers of irresponsible partying."We go over some of the tragedies, as well as some of the ramifications, not only legal ramifications, but also social ramifications," Squance said. "More recently, we've included information on some of the tragedies that have occurred right here in Oxford."Squance said that the mentioning of some of the deaths on campus in recent years makes the application of the lessons more personal for students, and hopefully makes the lessons of the event stand out more in students' minds.Once the event came to a close, the presidents and participating chapters seemed very pleased."The members of (Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Gamma, Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Phi Epilson) responded very well." Spencer said. "Overall it was a great turnout from all four chapters and people were very responsive to the event, since this is something that affects college-aged students."Squance said that the OPD participates in one event each year, and that he has taken part for the past five or six years."(The events are) very well-attended," Squance said. "The Greek organizations put a lot of time and effort into them"


Poking fun at poker

(Dan Chudzinski)Every problem America faces today can be traced to one thing.Poker. Think about it. Heineken or Miller has become almost as big a question at the poker table as raise or fold. In college maybe it's downgraded to Keystone or Natty, but either way you're all but saying "what-up" to a life of alcoholism. How about the wife of that tragically bad player who complains when fine dining goes from lobster and chardonnay to White Castle and two-buck Chuck? Nine times out of 10 it's the same old story. She goes and pawns her wedding ring for the money to buy that midlife crisis SUV with the iceberg-melting emissions that single-handedly raise ocean levels enough to flood her house. Silly poker.And then, just when you thought global warming was the worst that could come of it, some guy who's just begging for a wedgie decided poker was fun to watch. Before long, poker's being televised, and on ESPN no less, which basically straight-flushed the integrity of televisions' greatest station to the level of pre-Trimspa Anna Nicole. Now, feeling the vindication of being televised on ESPN, poker players have the audacity to call themselves athletes. As if poker is a sport. No way. A sport requires more movement than a finger flex. Dexterity in the phalanges region does not equal athleticism. Where do we draw the line? Are dominoes a sport? Bingo? God forbid we leave out Mahjong!After awhile, I came to accept the idea that poker on television was here to stay, so I made the most of the situation by inventing this game where I think of what each player resembles. It's usually pretty easy because serious poker players rarely look like normal people. For instance, the other day there was a player I was pretty sure was a hippo. He was huge and had two large hippo-esque buckteeth and I could definitely picture him waddling. But the clincher of his identity was that he always had this bashful facial expression; like he sensed that everyone knew he'd been steadily releasing gas for most of the past hour. Only hippos fart for 60 minutes straight. Finally, the guy who I believed to be Chewbacca's stunt double asked the question everyone was thinking."Did you just eat a water buffalo?""You noticed, huh? I'm so embarrassed."Poker players have a lot of ground to make up in their bid to join the athletes club. It's bad when almost all professional poker players outweigh Kobayashi, who - in case you have better things to do than follow the world of competitive eating - won the annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating contest July 4 for sucking down 54 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Seriously, how the hell do card players outweigh professional gluttons? Poker chips are still ceramic, not potato, right?It's common practice in most sports broadcasts to take a break from the action in order to dish on the players. We call them human interest stories, also known in the poker world as the "person beneath the fat" stories. The poker varieties of these are usually as captivating as saying "hi" to your milkman. In real sports, these stories are about overcoming some monumental obstacle, or performing some heroic deed, or sometimes doing both. It's not uncommon to hear football or basketball stars describe miraculous adventures: "After my rowboat was eaten by the Loch Ness monster some 500 miles away from the nearest land, I fought off a platoon of 47 man-eating jellyfish by tying their tentacles together. Then I swam to shore and made peanut butter balls for the homeless."Poker guys don't have cool stories like that. For example, take the last poker player human interest story I heard about a guy's family. Nothing special about his family, no extraordinary talents or illnesses, just that he has a wife and two kids. That's it. Now, I've been known to tear up during some particularly touchy-feely stories, but I just wanted to slap this guy and then confront each of his more-boring-than-low-fat-vanilla-yogurt family members and demand monetary compensation for consuming a brief period of my life that was wasted. Until poker changes its rules so that players are able to give their opponent a pile-driving suplex after a "river card" that costs one his car, wife and masculine dignity, get it off ESPN. There are way too many real sports actually worth showing on sports network, such as the National Spelling Bee. Now that's a sport.


Lux choir offers new outlet for MU students

Drew T. DornerMusic will soon fill the halls of the Miami University Dolibois European Campus (MUDEC) in Luxembourg through a newly created student choir.The choir, which is to be made up entirely of students at the Luxembourg campus, is open to any interested student at MUDEC."It's basically a forum for anyone who wants to get involved and be part of a group here," said Nicole Cozzi, student activities coordinator at MUDEC. "We'll hopefully have at least 10 singers to start off with, as well as a piano and guitar."Cozzi said she thinks the group will find opportunities to perform for not only fellow students, but also residents of the surrounding area."Hopefully we can perform at MUDEC's talent show and at a church around Christmas," Cozzi said. "We even talked about going to an elderly community in Niederkorn (a nearby Luxembourg town) to get involved."The choir will be under the direction of Miami graduate student Marc Parrasch, a previous member of Miami's Glee Club, Collegiate Chorale and Chamber Singers.Parrasch, a former MUDEC student, said he volunteered to direct the choir in addition to his middle school teaching position in Luxembourg."I just want it to be an enjoyable musical experience for everyone who participates," Parrasch said. "There have been so many people from choirs (in Oxford) that have come here, and they haven't had a chance to sing. It won't be anything big, but we'll have a good time doing what we like to do."Parrasch said he hopes the group can remain laid-back but focused at the same time."It's going to be the best music we can do in the amount of time we have, but it won't be super-professional," Parrasch said. "I'll make the decisions, but I'll involve everyone and ask their opinion, because it's a small group and I think we all have a say in what's going to happen."Parrasch said members can expect about 90 minutes of practice every week and agreed that an end of the year performance would be ideal.Parrasch also thinks the choir will grow as each semester passes and students spread the idea."When students go back, they can pass along the word that this is a fun thing to do," he said. "It's a word-of-mouth thing, and once people know about it, there will be even more attendance."Kelley Engelbrecht, a junior MUDEC student, recently joined the choir and said it is among her favorite things to do in college."I'm involved with choir back in Oxford, and I had sung with Marc (Parrasch) last semester," Engelbrecht said. "I figured this would be like a little something from home to participate in."Engelbrecht sees this as an opportunity for students, far from home, to have a piece of Miami life in Luxembourg."We're in a strange place and we don't all know each other here, so this is a good way for us to hang out, meet other students," Engelbrecht said. "It's a break from everything else that's so new, stressful and different"

Miami players battle it out with California's defense in Friday's double overtime loss. The RedHawks rebounded to beat Central Michigan 1-0 Saturday.

Field hockey goes 1-1 in homestand series

Trish Engelman, Staff WriterMiami players battle it out with California's defense in Friday's double overtime loss. The RedHawks rebounded to beat Central Michigan 1-0 Saturday. (Jeff Creech)Determination was the name of the game Saturday afternoon, as the Miami University field hockey team defeated Central Michigan University 1-0. Bouncing back from a devastating 4-3 loss in overtime the previous day against California-Berkley, the RedHawks were determined to come out victorious."We tried to stay consistent today," said senior Danielle Perrecone. "We played more of a mental game, and at halftime we knew that we had to bring ourselves together and stick to our game plan."Miami (5-7 overall, 2-1 Mid-American Conference) dominated control of the ball throughout the scoreless first half, out-shooting CMU 9-5. Although appearing frustrated in their many attempts at scoring, the RedHawks knew they couldn't drop their level of play."I have to give Central Michigan credit - their goalkeeper really kept them in the game, she made some amazing saves," said Head Coach Jill Reeves.Junior Alyssa Nye finally connected with the cage by capitalizing off of her own rebound less than 10 minutes into the second half. It was Nye's fifth goal of the season.Miami's formidable defense kept the 'Hawks ahead for the remaining 25 minutes. Clearing the ball from inside the circle at every chance, the intensity of the defense held a 9-6 advantage in penalty corners over Central Michigan (5-5 overall, 0-2 MAC). Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Stengel notched her first career shutout with the six-save performance.The conference victory was a needed one after the team fell in an overtime heartbreaker against the No. 14 Golden Bears the previous day."We came out there thinking it doesn't matter who they are, they don't know who we are," Perrecone said.The Bears quickly learned who the 'Hawks were. Consistently beating Cal to the ball, the team showed an improvement in the girls' movement on the field."We have been working a lot on intercepting and being first to the ball," Perrecone said. "If we let them have the ball, (we) have the stick skills to (get it back)."Sophomore Mary Hull scored at 4:48 in the first half after receiving a pass from classmate Courtney Fretz at the top of the circle. The Golden Bears quickly answered back at 12:47 with Valentina Godfrid capitalizing on an offensive penalty corner. The Bears took the lead with their second goal scored by Gwen Belomy. Answering back, Miami's Deb Leighton found the back of the cage off of a ricochet from Taylor Florence's slap shot from the right side of the circle, tying the score before halftime.The Golden Bears then took a 3-2 lead with nine minutes to go in the second half. However the 'Hawks once again responded quickly as freshman Katie Brightwell found Hull deep into the offensive zone. Similar to her first goal, Hull slipped the ball into the cage forcing the overtime period.While the first overtime was ineffective, both Cal and Miami fought through a tough second overtime period. Miami ultimately fell within the first three minutes as Cal got a fortunate bounce from a Godfrid shot at the top of the circle that dribbled into the goal.

More information concerning the new airline ticket grant program is available at the Office of International Education at 216 MacMillan Hall.

MU to offer airline ticket grants

Michelle LohmannMore information concerning the new airline ticket grant program is available at the Office of International Education at 216 MacMillan Hall. (Michael Pickering)Studying abroad has just gotten easier and cheaper for Miami University students with financial need. Miami has proposed a new financial aid program that will fund airline tickets for students studying overseas for at least one semester. Starting in the fall of 2007, Miami will provide financially needy students with a $600 grant to be used toward airfare. For airline tickets that cost more than $600, students will receive the remainder of the cost as an interest-free university loan. The idea for the grant was developed by Chuck Knepfle, the director of student financial assistance, in response to Provost Jeffrey Herbst's inquiries on how to encourage more students to study abroad. "It was my thought that the cost of airfare to a foreign country might be overwhelming to students with financial need," Knepfle said. "We hope that by providing at least some of the airfare cost up front we can make a study abroad experience more attainable to Miami students with financial need." David Keitges, director of international education, believes that many students do not consider studying abroad for a semester because they think that they cannot afford the expenses. He sees the creation of the airline grant as an attempt to encourage more students to study abroad and to enhance Miami's image as an internationally active university. Miami has been known nationally for the strength of its study abroad programs; however, many feel that the program can always be improved. Keitges stated that Miami has set a goal for half of its students to study abroad for a semester or longer. Currently, about 30 percent of students study abroad for a semester or longer."Miami wants to ... provide the best possible education to our students who will work in a very globalized and interconnected world," Keitges said. To qualify for the grant, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to demonstrate financial need, a printed and signed estimate of the cost of their airfare and a completed consortium agreement and study abroad declaration form if studying in a non-Luxembourg program (Luxembourg students are eligible to apply as well). Students must study abroad for a semester or longer and submit documentation that the airline ticket was purchased. Students may request the grant no sooner than 90 days before their departure date and if eligible will receive a check from the university in order to purchase their ticket. "We want to make sure that students have had time to complete all the necessary application and consortium agreement information with the host country/program before we give the students the grant," Knepfle said about granting the aid 90 days before departure.More information about the grant will be provided at the Study Abroad Fair, 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Shriver Center Multipurpose Room, and on the Office of Student Financial Assistance Web site,

Verizon, Great Clips, and a men and women's clothing store will be among the businesses housed in the strip mall.

New Route 27 shopping center hopes to draw Wal-Mart traffic

Ashley Doyle, Senior Staff WriterVerizon, Great Clips, and a men and women's clothing store will be among the businesses housed in the strip mall. (Amanda Baker)The Super Wal-Mart on U.S. Route 27 in Oxford is getting some new neighbors, including a clothing store, a Great Clips and a Verizon Wireless store.Robert Mattingly & Sons, Inc., began building a small strip mall on the land next to Wal-Mart in June 2006 and construction is expected to be completed within the next two weeks. "We do a lot of strip centers on the Super Wal-Mart out lots," said Brad Curl, a job superintendent with Robert Mattingly & Sons. "Wherever there's a Super Wal-Mart and an out lot, we try to buy (the lot) and build on it."The new strip mall will become home to Maurice's; a men and women's clothing store that has locations across the country; Great Clips; and Moorehead Communications, which will be opening a Verizon Wireless store. Many other businesses have inquired about the three remaining spots in the strip mall, but no decisions have been made at this time."(Businesses) know they will get foot traffic and car traffic that Wal-Mart brings," said Darius Bobo, economic development director for Oxford.Bobo is currently weighing options in regards to the old Wal-Mart as well, which has been sitting vacant for more than a year. According to Bobo, several national developers have found the lot to be ideal for additional student housing. The land sits in a commercial zone, so using the land as mixed-use development also is an option, with apartments on the top and businesses on the bottom."I take suggestions and observe the community," Bobo said. "In actuality, our town has everything we need. It's a matter of what we want to add to our economy."Bobo has explored the option of building an outlet mall in place of the former Wal-Mart as well, which could bring larger stores to the Oxford area, such as Gap and Bath and Body Works. "Our market has a lot of disposable income," Bobo said. "We can support stores"


Miami U., Talawanda continue partnership

John D. HummellNow its sixth year, the Miami University-Talawanda School District partnership has expanded and those involved can see a tangible difference in the quality of relationships between the university and its neighboring public schools."In the 23 years I've worked as an administrator in Talawanda, I've witnessed many positive relationships and activities with faculty from Miami and Talawanda that enriched the educational programs for the students in Talawanda," said Phil Cagwin, superintendent of the Talawanda School District. "However, those activities were not particularly focused or strategic for the benefit of Talawanda students."But those involved with this partnership see it as working.Both Miami and Talawanda are affiliated with the National Network for Educational Renewal and the Institute for Educational Inquiry, which facilitates partnerships between schools and university communities throughout the country. Tom Poetter, an education professor at Miami, and Jean Eagle, a Talawanda administrator, serve as co-chairs. Though the partnership is complex, it has assisted in simple tasks such as Miami loaning Talawanda portable bleachers for Talawanda's home football games to supporting the maintenance of a foreign language program and the America Reads series.For example, Miami provides funding and support to Melissa Metzger, a math teacher at Talawanda who has worked with the university's department of mathematics and statistics, on creating an Advanced Placement (AP) calculus curriculum at Talawanda. New research and funding has improved the AP program at Talawanda High School, which currently offers four AP classes.The Entry-Year Teacher Mentoring Program demonstrates that the partnership benefits not just students, but also faculty. Faculty and staff at Miami volunteer to become partners with entry-year Talawanda teachers, and the program takes its own shape depending on each team's needs or wishes. According to Eagle, Most schools have some form of a faculty-mentoring program within their district, but Talawanda's is unique."(Talawanda has) expanded that to include (Miami University), which not only helps teachers establish connections but also helps them realize the vast resources of the academic community at Miami," Eagle said.In addition, the partnership has worked with the King Library to provided 50 access cards to Talawanda teachers for one-year periods beginning in 2006. According to Cagwin, the partnership serves to benefit teachers at both Miami and Talawanda. Students who wish to become involved with programs sponsored by the partnership can do so through the Adopt-A-School program offered through the service-learning program at the Hanna House. Adopt-A-School tutors work with Talawanda students, assisting with homework and preparing students for tests such as the Ohio Graduation Test while serving as informal mentors. For the 2005-06 school year, more than 1,000 Talawanda students received mentoring in some form. This year, the program restructured the tutoring process; tutor placement among students is no longer random. "I am appreciative of all of the tutoring time that is donated by Miami students with our elementary students," Cagwin said. "I have to believe that the additional help in reading and math helps our youngsters improve their academic performance"


Majority rule critical to democracy

Kevin HarrisonAs another November approaches, existing dialogue on social issues will continue to be usurped by each party as a way to drive skeptical voters to one side of the fence or the other and subsequently, one party or the other. Though this treatment of social issues as agents of political polarization rather than actual problems to be solved is a clear problem in American politics today, there exists a prevailing trend in the way these issues are dealt with that threatens to compromise the most important principle of truly democratic government: majority rule. When asked to define democracy, most Americans' definitions are likely colored by their own perceptions of the ideals our government and its architects espouse. Many of the responses likely include catch phrases like "liberty," "freedom" and "elections." In today's era of apologist policy-making, the tenet that is most often forgotten at both the state and national levels is the very concept of majority rule. As hot-button topics like religious phrasing in the Pledge of Allegiance are once more dragged under intense public scrutiny, the way the government deals with them should become increasingly perplexing to any individual with some knowledge of United States government. The first case in which the government has entertained ludicrous arguments that fly in the face of our principles as citizens of a democratic republic in recent memory is the Supreme Court case Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow. The original plaintiff in the suit, Michael Newdow, accused the school his daughter attended of violating his daughter's constitutional right to free religious exercise by making the Pledge of Allegiance, which contain the words "under God," a staple of every school day. Though Newdow's claim was eventually rebuked, the justices missed the mark by failing to acknowledge that public policy should generally be reflective of the opinions of the majority of its constituents. Statistically speaking, the United States happens to be a predominantly religious nation. According to a study taken in 2001, 85 percent of American citizens identify with some religion as compared to an only 15 percent agnostic or atheist population.Whatever we believe about our rights as individuals to express our bodies of beliefs, we cannot expect the government to subjugate the rights of the majority in an attempt to protect the rights of a distinctly non-persecuted minority. James Madison acknowledged in Federalist 51 that "different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens" and warned against a tyranny of the majority. Without compulsion or consequence however there exists no tyranny and without the existence of the palpable sense of persecution and injustice, members of a minority ought not presume that their rights merit more protection than those of the majority which helped bestow upon them the ones they do possess.


Class to incorporate diabetes research

Caitlin VarleyBecause of a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), students at Miami University will have the opportunity to take part in diabetes research this spring in a new class formed by two gerontology researchers. Jennifer Kinney, a Miami gerontology professor, and Cary Kart, a senior researcher at the Scripps Gerontology Center, received the two-year, approximately $170,000 grant.The grant is part of the federal R15 program, which requires researchers to get students involved in health sciences. Kinney said that they are advertising the class to upperclassmen who will make the time commitment for this four-credit course. The class, Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Diabetes Management, will meet two times a week for lecture and data analysis.Jeffrey Potteiger, interim dean of the graduate school at Miami, said that this grant will be beneficial to both undergraduate and graduate students. "The class allows students to work in concert with distinguished researchers on a health topic that is of critical importance to this nation and across the world," Potteiger said. Classes offered to undergraduate and graduate students - referred to as "slash" classes - are not uncommon, according to Potteiger.According to Kart, researchers, including students, will collect data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and do secondary analysis examining the ways that people with diabetes manage the disease. Claire Wagner, assistant director of university communications, said, "It is always a terrific learning opportunity for students to get involved in research." Another goal of the research is to explain disparities within currently available data. Kinney said she hopes that they will be able to develop interventions targeted at specific groups after learning which factors affect diabetes self-management. Wagner is excited that Miami can be a part of getting answers about a disease like diabetes.Kart and Kinney originally submitted their grant application in the summer of 2004. "We got good feedback, but not good enough to be funded," Kinney said. After making a few minor revisions, they resubmitted the application in spring of 2005 and were awarded the grant this fall.The application process was not simple, though. Kart said that the majority of the application is 15 pages long, single-spaced, with "guidelines galore." The federal government can only fund so many research projects each year. This year, Kart and Kinney's application was chosen out of hundreds of other applications, and while this is not the first R15 grant to be awarded to researchers at Miami, both Kart and Kinney see it benefiting the university."It benefits the students directly because the learning is that much more hands-on," Wagner said. She also said that it will benefit the faculty and the university as a whole since it may influence prospective student's decision to attend Miami.Kart hopes that the grant will get students interested in careers in health science. The grant also allows Kinney and Kart to spend more time on their research. Kinney said that while there are already many chances for students to be involved in research, this grant provides another opportunity.An event will be held in the fall of 2007 to showcase the class's findings.At the moment Kart and Kinney, with the help of two doctoral students in the Ph.D. program of social gerontology, are receiving and organizing data from the CDC. "We're getting all of the data files ready so that when we start the course in the spring the data will be in a user-friendly format," Kinney said.While Kart and Kinney have been working on this research for over a year, students will get their first opportunity this spring.


The $10 Million Gift

Megan Brooks and Hayley DaySmack!She hit the ground.Boom!Her cane slipped.Smash!Her ego bruised.The cold wind revealed a trail of tears and dragged footprints running parallel to High Street. A hunched, snow-drenched figure crawled from beneath the billowy rubble, attempting once more at the feat at hand. Step by step, moment by moment, the figure pressed on, never stopping, never slowing, never giving up.Lois Klawon fell 19 times on her way to class that snowy day. The sidewalks were slippery and the brace on her leg made it difficult to stay steady.According to lifelong friend Mark Ketterer, she promised herself that day that if she could, she would prevent others from this torture. She would do everything she could to make Miami University the best place it could be.In the fall of 2007, almost 68 years later, her wish will come true.Klawon fulfilled her promise to give back to her alma mater when she passed away in July of 2005, leaving half of her estate to Miami. Klawon specified that the $10 million should help low-income students attend the university and because of her dream, up to 150 students that could never have afforded Miami may attend next fall.In conjunction with Klawon's gift, additional donors, and federal and state financial aid, Miami President David Hodge announced the launching of the Miami Access Initiative in his State of the University Address earlier this year. This program will provide tuition and fees for first-time, first-year Ohio residents who are attending Miami with a family income lower than $35,000.A similar program would have been beneficial to Klawon."Lois wouldn't have been able to go to Miami without her scholarships," said Kenneth Redlin, Klawon's cousin. While at Miami, Klawon obtained a bachelor's degree in accounting and was one of only seven women to graduate with a business degree in 1939. Klawon was also a member of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and a contributor to The Miami Student. Upon graduation, Klawon worked for Wagner Awning Manufacturing as an accountant and then went on to Progressive Corporation as an executive secretary. There she took advantage of the stock option, in which she placed $2,000. By the end of her lifetime, $2,000 had grown into $20 million. However despite her wealth, what life gave to Klawon financially, it took from her physically.Diagnosed with polio as a young child, Klawon was forced to have a brace put on her leg, causing her to use a cane for the remainder of her life. In addition, Klawon underwent approximately 40 surgeries to correct her disorder.Growing up in poverty in the 1930s, Klawon and her family endured many hardships. She lost her only sibling, her brother Gordon, to goiter, a disease which causes an enlarged thyroid gland and interferes with breathing.Fraught with piling medical bills, Klawon's family struggled to make ends meet. Yet despite the numerous tragedies in her life, Klawon was instilled with a deep sense of determination and perseverance."Lois never said no," Ketterer said. "She never allowed herself to feel sorry for herself, never let her handicap stop her. Any place she wanted to go, she found a way, and went." Ketterer met Klawon when he was just 12 years old in his hometown of Westlake, Ohio. Ketterer accompanied Klawon, who, at the time, was in her 40s, to the grocery store and dinner each week. As the years progressed, Klawon became part of his family, attending Christmas dinners and vacations with him. When Ketterer became an adult, he lived only a couple of blocks away from his lifelong friend, working the midnight shift as a police officer just to spend time with her during the day. For the latter half of her life, Ketterer always kept an eye on Klawon."We had a system," Ketterer said. "As I was coming home around midnight after my night shift at work, I would always drive by her apartment. She had a porch light and if it was lit that meant she needed me to stop and help her. If it wasn't then that was her telling me she was all right."Despite the regimented system, Klawon was always up for some fun. "She left the porch light on a couple of times," Ketterer said, "but only because she wanted me to stop in and have a drink with her."Klawon never married nor had children, but did manage to surround herself with friends, especially youthful ones that kept her vibrant and alert. She was well-traveled and an inspiration to everyone she met. "She was a person, who despite physical handicaps, never complained," Ketterer said. "She never sat and said 'woe is me'. She accepted what life gave her and lived a fulfilling and complete one."Klawon's decision to donate the money to Miami was an easy one."Lois went to Miami on an optional scholarship," Redlin said. "She wanted to return the favor to the university. Lois always felt it could have been her that needed more help."Klawon knew that her success was partly due to her years at Miami. "She spoke highly of those years," Ketterer said. "She knew she owed a lot of her success to that school."Klawon was a self-made successful woman who gave more than she received throughout her life. She donated money to various charities including food banks in Cleveland, the Red Cross, and Cleveland's Animal Protection League (APL). "She was a straight shooter, organized, and had an unparalleled work ethic," Ketterer said. In addition to the contribution that Klawon left to Miami, she also left her story as an inspiration to students. Just as Ketterer said, Klawon lived her life to the fullest simply by "never saying no" - not to disabilities, poverty, or even icy sidewalks.


Faculty can donate to United Way through BannerWeb

Katie BooherFor the second year in a row, Miami University faculty and staff can make a donation to Oxford's United Way 2006 campaign directly from their salary via BannerWeb. The campaign runs through Nov. 22. According to Maureen Kranbuhl, executive director for the United Way of Oxford and Vicinity, the United Way is an organization that provides funding and leadership to service agencies within the Oxford community. "We give money to 18 agencies which served over 10,000 Oxford residents in 2005," Kranbuhl said. "We also work with these agencies to tackle social challenges this community faces."Kranbuhl said that the option to donate online was added for convenience. "In October, Miami employees have to renew their health insurance (through BannerWeb,) so it made sense to add this as one more thing they can choose to do while online," she said.Because of the online option, some people might donate to the United Way campaign that wouldn't normally donate otherwise, Kranbuhl said. "Last year about 30 percent of donors contributed through BannerWeb," she said. "It's very possible people donated because they saw the option to do it online."The campaign's goal this year is $190,000 and 100 percent of all money raised will go back into the community, according to Kranbuhl."Not many nonprofit organizations can make that claim, but thanks to a grant from a local donor, all our operating costs are covered," she said.The organization that benefits most from the United Way's help is the Oxford Family Resource Center, which receives one-third of their total operating budget from the United Way. According to Mary Jo Clark, director of the Oxford Family Resource Center, they serve families in the Talawanda school district by providing for their basic needs as well as helping them get back on their feet."We provide basic living needs including food and clothing," she said. "We also have programs to promote self-sufficiency (for example) we have a (general education degree) class and offer a Head Start program."Miami President David Hodge said in a letter addressed to faculty and staff about the United Way campaign that it's important to donate because it's an investment in this community's future."Miami University participates in the United Way campaign because we care about improving lives and building a stronger community," he said. "Your gift addresses the most serious human needs in our community (and) the result is real, lasting changes in people's lives." For more information about the 2006 campaign or the United Way of Oxford and Vicinity in general, call Kranbuhl at (513) 523-0991 or visit

The Oxford Fire Department responds to the kitchen fire Friday night at High Street Grill uptown.  No one was injured in the incident.

Restaurant to reopen after fire

Katie Wedell, Special Projects EditorThe Oxford Fire Department responds to the kitchen fire Friday night at High Street Grill uptown. No one was injured in the incident. (Michael Pickering)Students and visitors to Oxford had to do without dinner at the popular High Street Grill this weekend due to a fire Friday evening that closed the establishment through Monday.The Oxford Fire Department received a call at 8:20 p.m. reporting a fire in the kitchen at High Street Grill, 116 E. High St. Fire Chief Len Endress said that when trucks arrived, the restaurant had already been evacuated and the kitchen's fire suppression system had extinguished the flames. Firefighters stayed for almost an hour cleaning out the oven hood system and making sure there was no smoldering residue left.High Street Grill Owner Bryan Hoelzer said the exact cause of the fire is still unknown, but said the flames were coming down from the hood ventilation system and were not caused by anything the kitchen staff did. "It appears that they got some green wood," Endress said, and explained that burning such wood in a hickory wood oven causes chemical residue buildup in the ventilation system which probably caught fire.Hoelzer said that the restaurant's hood system is cleaned every month, more often than the recommended three to six month cleaning schedule, but that the buildup indicated that the cleaning company wasn't doing a complete job."The company we had wasn't doing the job they were hired to do," Hoelzer said. He said he has already hired a new company, which cleaned the ventilation system this weekend.Aside from the cleaning of this system, Hoelzer said there was almost no damage from the fire. The only replacement was a line for the fire suppression system, which was charred.No one was hurt and customers in the restaurant at the time didn't seem to be alarmed, according to Hoelzer.Miami University sophomore Emily Parker was finishing her meal with her mother and some sorority sisters when the alarms starting going off. She said there was a little bit of smoke visible coming out of the kitchen, but the staff very calmly asked everyone to leave."(Customers) were very understanding of what was going on," Hoelzer said.The restaurant paid for everyone's meals who had to evacuate, which Hoelzer said added up to a couple thousand dollars in expenses.Hoelzer said High Street Grill probably lost at least $10,000 worth of business over the weekend because it is their busiest time. In addition they threw out between $3,000 and $5,000 worth of products in the kitchen. "If it happened during the week it probably would have only taken a day to reopen," Hoelzer said. But because of the usual weekend crowds, the kitchen was stocked with much more food that had to be replaced and the cleaning companies took longer to get in contact with.After the clean up and repairs, the health department cleared the restaurant Monday and it is set to reopen for normal business hours Tuesday, Oct. 3.


Meal to unite Muslims, Jews, Christians

Michelle ScaglioneTo celebrate the Jewish holy month of Tishrei and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the Miami University's Hillel Foundation will be hosting a dinner they call Ramadan Break-Fast: Breaking the Fast, Building Community.During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are supposed to fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting is also one of the customs associated with Yom Kippur, one of the Jewish holidays that occurs during this month and the holiest day of the Jewish year. This meal, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct.11, is for Christian, Jewish and Muslim students, faculty, staff and community members. Hillel hopes that educating diners on the holy months of Ramadan and Tishrei as well as fasting traditions in Christianity, will break barriers and build understanding among the people of the different religions. "We're putting a lot of emphasis on food," said Amy Greenbaum, director of Hillel. "Food has a good way of bringing people together."This year in particular, the Jewish and Muslim holy months occur during the same lunar month of Sept. 23 and 24 through Oct. 22. "This dinner is open to the public," said Miami University senior Jacob Patterson-Stein, outreach chair of Miami Students for Israel. "It is an event for the Miami community to get together and talk with their peers about the holidays and enjoy the food. Also, the community can get together and learn about different cultures while breaking down barriers."The Hillel Foundation has a kosher kitchen and event planners are preparing for 50 people, but Patterson-Stein anticipates that more will attend. On the menu are traditional foods with which to break the Yom Kippur fast and also the Ramadan fast, since the meal will occur after sunset. The meal will include dried dates and apricots as appetizers, lentil soup, red beans and tilapia, a type of fish. The meal, except for the desert, is being prepared by Hillel's chef, Paula Duncan. All of the food will be kosher and halal, meaning that, according to Jewish and Muslim religion, the food is permissible to eat."People don't advertise their (religious) beliefs because Islam and Judaism (are minorities) here," Patterson-Stein said. "Everyone attending will be comfortable and open to learning."Greenbaum, who is also an adviser for Miami Students for Israel and Association of Jewish Students, also said that it is important to acknowledge and recognize that these holy months do coincide and that people can learn about each other while sharing a meal. "I am grateful and delighted that so many in the community are embracing the idea of building community together by breaking the fast," Greenbaum said. "I hope (this meal) will be the first of many." The event has 13 confirmed sponsors including the Association of Jewish Students, Lights on Campus, Center for American and World Cultures, Division of Student Affairs, Hillel, Interfaith Circle, the Jewish Studies Program, Lutheran Campus Ministry/Faith Lutheran Church, Miami Students for Israel, Middle East and Islamic Studies Program, Muslim Students Association, Office of Diversity Affairs and Office of Residence Life.

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