Top 15 news topics of 2015

  1. Death of Agatha Hall
Police said they found Agatha Hall dead in her apartment early Aug. 31. | Via LinkedIn
Police said they found Agatha Hall dead in her apartment early Aug. 31. | Via LinkedIn

In late August, Philadelphia Police responded to a fatal shooting of a Temple student on York Street near North Park Avenue. Initially, police deemed the shooting to be a suicide, but after further investigation, the case was reclassified as a homicide and 29-year-old Brandon Meade was charged with the murder of finance student Agatha Hall, who previously attended Northeast High School in Philadelphia.

2. Death of Rebecca Kim

VIA FACEBOOK
VIA FACEBOOK

Freshman Rebecca Kim was in her first year as a pre-pharmacy major when she fell out a window from the eighth story of a Center City apartment Jan. 15. Police reported her death soon after she arrived at Hahnemann University Hospital. Her high school principal and one of her former classmates remembered the 18-year-old as a kind, caring and driven individual.

3. Stadium talks impact community and university

Ongoing talks about a possible $100 million, 35,000-seat football stadium have occurred among university trustees. The Temple News has covered the impact such a stadium would have on the surrounding community and local businesses and housing, and talked to President Neil Theobald about the topic in November.

4. Death of Kim Jones

Residents gathered at the intersection of 12th and Jefferson streets on Friday to mourn Kim Jones, who was shot and killed at the corner three days earlier. | Jenny Kerrigan TTN
Residents gathered at the intersection of 12th and Jefferson streets Jan. 16 to mourn Kim Jones, who was shot and killed at the corner three days earlier. | Jenny Kerrigan TTN

In January, Jones was found dead on the northwest corner of 12th and Jefferson streets slightly southeast of Main Campus. The next month, Randolph Sanders was charged with the murder of Jones after Philadelphia Police said he was afraid Jones was going to report him for allegedly misappropriating $40,000 in funds from the organization Turning Points for Children. Since then, the case has yet to reach a trial or a plea of guilty or not guilty.

5. Former physics department chair accused of sharing technology secrets, charges later dropped.

Xiaoxing Xi, former chair of the physics department, stepped down from his position after federal prosecutors charged him with wire fraud in June. Charges were later dropped in September after prosecuters realized their blueprints did not match the instrument they had believed Xi shared with China.

6. Rachel Hall injured in hit-and-run accident near Main Campus

Hall, a former member of Temple’s lacrosse team, was injured as she was biking at the interesection of Diamond Street and Park Avenue in April. In the next couple of weeks, 18-year-old Rashan Roberts turned himself into police and admitted that he fled from the scene after striking Hall in his father’s car. He pled guilty in July and was sentenced to 11-and-a-half to 23 months in prison with five years probation in October.

7. Pope visits Philadelphia, university cancels classes

Pope Francis waves to the crowd during his visit to Philadelphia this past weekend. | Jenny Kerrigan TTN
Pope Francis waves to the crowd during his visit to Philadelphia this past weekend. | Jenny Kerrigan TTN

As Pope Francis II visited Philadelphia in late September, the university decided to cancel classes Sept. 25 and delay classes Sept. 28. The Temple News previewed how university organizations prepared for the visit in the Sept. 22 edition and provided a multimedia recap of the week’s events.

8. Paris attacks affect students at home and abroad

Chloe Tinchant, 21, a native of Lyon, France, helped organize Saturday night’s vigil for the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. | Jenny Kerrigan TTN
Chloe Tinchant, 21, a native of Lyon, France, helped organize Saturday night’s vigil for the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. | Jenny Kerrigan TTN

In response to the deadliest attack in Paris since World War II, a vigil was held at LOVE Park, where several international students attended. Dozens of Study Away students students, some of whom were in France at the time of the attacks, were accounted for as the nation continued to grieve for more than 100 lives lost in shootings throughout the city.

9. After charges initially dropped, football players to face trial for alleged aggravated assault

Dion Dawkins (left) and Haason Reddick. | COURTESY Philadelphia Police
Dion Dawkins (left) and Haason Reddick. | COURTESY Philadelphia Police

Dion Dawkins and Haason Reddick were initially arrested and charged with aggravated assault in March for their involvement in a fight with student Benjamin Wood in Club 1800 in Northern Liberties. Several charges were dropped at a preliminary hearing in April, but were later refiled by the District Attorney’s Office. Both were allowed to play this fall after passing through the university’s Student Conduct Code, but will face a trial for their charges in March.

10. Former law student found dead in Delaware

New Castle County Police said they found Shazim Uppal dead in his car Aug. 24. | Via Facebook
New Castle County Police said they found Shazim Uppal dead in his car Aug. 24. | Via Facebook

Shazim Uppal, who graduated from the Beasley School of Law, was found dead in Hockessin, Delaware in late August. Following an investigation by New Castle County Police, Benjamin Rauf, another Temple Law graduate, was charged with the murder of Uppal. Professor Craig Green, who taught both students and said the two were classmates, said he was shocked at the news, adding Uppal was preparing for the state bar exam.

11. Adjuncts vote to unionize with full-time faculty

Adjunct professors chant, “Let us vote,” as they march down Liacouras Walk on Feb. 23. Pending a March 19 hearing with the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, adjuncts are demanding a vote for or against unionization. | Kara Milstein TTN
Adjunct professors chant, “Let us vote,” as they march down Liacouras Walk on Feb. 23. | Kara Milstein TTN

Following several protests and conflict between adjunct professors and university administration, a secret ballot was held in November to determine whether part-time professors could join the Temple Association of University Professionals. The vote passed, and details are still being worked out between the merger of about 1,400 adjuncts with TAUP, the university’s full-time faculty union.

12. Cosby faces sexual assault allegations

 

Bill Cosby resigned from his position on the Board of Trustees during a surge in sexual assault allegations last year. The faculty senate has since called for the university to withdraw Cosby’s honorary degree. Andrea Constand’s case was formally reopened this year and Cosby will face felony indecent sexual assault charges related to the 2004 encounter with the former Temple employee.

13. Tamron Hall elected to Board of Trustees

Tamron Hall, who graduated from Temple in 1992, was nominated for a Board of Trustees spot. | COURTESY Ryan S. Brandenberg
Tamron Hall, who graduated from Temple in 1992, was nominated for a Board of Trustees spot. | COURTESY Ryan S. Brandenberg

1992 alumna Tamron Hall was elected to be the newest member of the Board of Trustees. The co-host of NBC’s “TODAY Show” and host of MSNBC’s “NewsNation” filled the spot left by Cosby following his resignation.

14. Vending district for Main Campus

Due to the large amount of food trucks on Main Campus, Temple administration and City Council created a bill to provide more structure to the vendors and create a safer environment for students and faculty. The bill will take effect this spring.

15. Duval DeShields, 14, shot off campus

Sheila Armstrong (left), the aunt of shooting victim Duval “DJ” DeShields, is consoled by boyfriend Brian Jackson at a fundraiser for DeShields' family Tuesday Oct. 20. | Patrick Clark TTN
Sheila Armstrong (left), the aunt of shooting victim Duval “DJ” DeShields, is consoled by boyfriend Brian Jackson at a fundraiser for DeShields’ family Tuesday Oct. 20. | Patrick Clark TTN

The Dunbar Promise Academy student was shot on 10th Street near Thompson and died a day later at Hahnemann University Hospital. A community fundraiser was held for DeShields’ family and funeral expenses. Dimitrius Brown was arrested and has been charged with murder.

 

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