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ODU in the News

Week of 2/24/14

ODU student dies of injuries after assault near campus
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 24, 2014)

An Old Dominion University student died after an assault near campus early Sunday morning.
Paul Johnson, 20, was found about 1 a.m. after police received a call about an assault in the 1000 block of W. 48th St., said Officer Daniel Hudson, spokesman for Norfolk Police.
Police found him in a parking lot. He had been struck in the head. Johnson, a sophomore majoring in mathematics, was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where he died Sunday afternoon.
With the help of ODU police, Norfolk police said they have identified two suspects wanted in connection with the homicide.
David William Grimm Jr., 21, is wanted on a second-degree murder charge, and Christopher Chase Johnson, 20, is wanted on a misdemeanor assault charge, the Norfolk police news release said. Police said the Johnsons are not related.
ODU President John Broderick sent a letter to students Sunday night saying counselors are available by calling 757-683-4401. He also said members of the university administration met with the Norfolk city manager and chief of police, who promised to devote additional police resources to the investigation and plan to further discuss safety issues and concerns with the university community.
Anybody with information is encouraged to contact Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (562-5887) or the Old Dominion University Police Department at 683-4000.
ODU officials sent a safety warning to students about 4 a.m. Sunday, stating that the incident occurred in the rear parking area of The Edge nightclub. (More)

Update: ODU student dies after assault near campus
(The Daily Press, Feb. 23, 2014)
(More)
ODU student from Richmond area dies after attack
(Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 24, 2014)
(More)
2 men wanted in connection to ODU student's death
(WAVY-TV, Feb. 24)
(More)
ODU student dies after attack near campus
(WTKR-TV, Feb. 24, 2014)
(More)
Police: 2 people wanted for beating death of ODU student
(WVEC-TV, Feb. 23, 2014)
(More)

Hampton Roads real estate in 2014 expected to be stronger for home sales, new construction
(The Daily Press, Feb. 24, 2014)

While snow contributed to the first drop in home sales in Hampton Roads in more than a year, local real estate agents expect sales and new home construction to pick up in 2014 as rising interest rates motivate buyers.
Two snowfalls in January - including 4-8 inches on Jan. 29 - might have contributed to the 15 percent drop in home sales in Hampton Roads compared to January 2013, according to a report released by the Real Estate Information Network Inc. The region's multiple-listing service said canceled property showings and delayed closings led to the comparative drop. This comes off a gradual increase in home sales every year since 2010 with an 11.5 percent increase from 2012 to 2013, according to Old Dominion University economists' "State of the Region" report.
Despite the slow start to the year, Peninsula real estate agents said they remained busy meeting prospective buyers. Greg Chaplain, a Realtor with The Real Estate Group, thinks January numbers fell in part because consumer confidence was shaky until Congress passed a federal budget on Jan. 16. Additionally, The Real Estate Group broker Pam Ermen said warm weather in December may have displaced some of the home shoppers in January and that the region won't get a sense of what the market is doing until the February report.
"Every indicator shows recovery," Ermen said. "But we define it as a fragile recovery. If fear sets in, it doesn't matter how stable the economy is."
New home construction, which virtually stopped during the downturn, is coming back, although most of that opportunity will be in areas where land is available and ready for development, such as New Kent, York, Gloucester or lower Suffolk, Ermen said. New construction homes listed for sale increased from 113 to 181, or by 68 percent, although their sales were down 10.8 percent in January from a year earlier. The ODU economic forecast also projects an 8 percent increase in housing permit values this year. That's a promising sign after new home construction sales fell 54 percent from 2002 to 2010. New construction sales comprised 20 percent of homes in 2002 and 13.3 percent in 2013. (More)

As FBS debut nears, ODU makes deal for upgrades
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 24, 2014)

For the first time, visiting teams will have a spacious locker room at 78-year-old Foreman Field this fall. Instead of hanging their jerseys and helmets on hooks on the wall, players will have access to 74 standard lockers, while coaches will have 20 more.
The cramped locker room that has served Foreman Field since it opened in 1936 has been an issue since ODU began playing football in 2009. A temporary tent had to be set up outside the locker room during games because the facilities were too small to handle a modern football team.
Because ODU is joining Conference USA this season, the school was required to update some facilities at Foreman Field. The existing locker room is to be augmented with a 3,200-square foot addition.
ODU awarded a $617,290 contract for the project last week to E.T. Gresham construction of Norfolk, which is expected to start construction shortly, said David Harnage, ODU's chief operating officer.
The contract includes building a suite that will be used by the visiting school's athletic director and president. A site hasn't been selected, nor has the suite yet been designed, but it likely will built on the terrace area next to the Ainslie Football Complex luxury suites in the south end zone. (More)

Portsmouth event celebrates Liberia's birth and its bond to Hampton Roads
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 23, 2014)

We learned earlier this week that Old Dominion's football team will play under the lights on a Friday night for the first time at Foreman Field on Sept. 26, when the Monarchs host Middle Tennessee State in a game slated for national television.
But unlike Virginia Tech, which has long hosted weekday games in order to bring ESPN's cameras to Blacksburg, ODU's campus is located in an urban setting. And playing on a weekday will present logistical problems at ODU that the good people at Tech don't have to deal with.
As 20,118 fans pour into Foreman Field that night, 45 classes will be underway around campus. Friday night, it seems, is a big night for people to take night classes.
If there is an average of 20 students per class, and that's probably a low number, that means 900 students and dozens of faculty members will be at work in classrooms while football is being played.
There may be a high school football game scheduled for Powhatan Field, whose parking lot is usually filled with tailgaters during ODU football games.
Hampton Boulevard is a commuter route for thousands of people who work at the port and for the Navy. Many will be headed home to Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk just as football fans are heading into parking lots around Foreman Field.
Here's are some educated guesses as to what might happen on Sept. 26:
* The game time hasn't been set, but after looking at last year's Conference USA schedule, I'd bet it likely will begin at 7 or 7:30.
* Fans likely won't have the four full hours of tailgating prior to a game that they are accustomed to. If the game starts at 7, tailgating would under normal circumstances begin at 3. But I suspect the lots likely won't open until a couple of hours before game time. Brats and beer at 3 p.m. on a weekday on a college campus just don't seem to mix. (More)

Norfolk vet helped shape legacy of Monuments Men
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 20, 2014)

In April 1946, Capt. Bill Lesley accompanied a train with at least 27 cars tightly packed with art and artifacts heading home to Krakow, Poland.
Among its treasures, the train carried a beloved altarpiece and a Leonardo da Vinci painting of a lady holding an ermine, both dating from the late 1400s.
Lesley was one of the so-called Monuments Men, a group of Western Allied soldiers who were given the assignment of finding, cataloging, restoring and, in many cases, returning thousands of artworks that the Nazis had stolen during World War II.
Nearly 70 years after the war ended, the Monuments Men are once again on the minds of Americans with the recent release of a George Clooney film. "The Monuments Men" was based on a 2009 book by Robert Edsel, who will speak tonight at Old Dominion University.
Though Lesley isn't a character in the movie, his actions and legacy helped shape the big-screen story.
By the late 1950s, Everett Parker "Bill" Lesley Jr. had settled in Norfolk, where he taught art history for about two decades at the Norfolk division of the College of William & Mary, which became ODU.
Later still, he would reflect on his time as a soldier dealing with looted art as "the most vivid, strenuous and enterprising years of my life," as he wrote to a friend.
The 1946 train trip from Nuremberg, Germany, to Krakow was a highlight of those years. (More)

HRT shares maps of Norfolk light-rail extension options
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 20, 2014)

Hampton Roads Transit has released highly conceptual maps showing several ways the city might extend light rail to Norfolk Naval Station.
The transit agency on Wednesday announced three public workshops it will hold next week to gather feedback on the alignments.
The routes grew out of past public workshops and do not consider cost or potentially fatal flaws, such as right of way problems, so several may prove unfeasible after a closer look.
The maps show paths running along most major north-south corridors in the city, including Hampton Boulevard, Colley Avenue, Church Street, Tidewater Drive and North Military Highway, past Norfolk International Airport.
Analysis of the routes has begun and will continue, with HRT planning to have recommendations by summer of two to four alignments to study further, said Julie Timm, the agency's transit development officer. ...
Tuesday: Old Dominion University, Ted Constant Convocation Center, 4320 Hampton Blvd. The location is served by bus routes 2, 4 and 16. Parking is free at the 43rd Street garage. (More)

Thomas R. Garrett
(Obituary, The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 20, 2014)

After a courageous battle with cancer and a stroke, Thomas "Tom" R. Garrett, 63, of Cuttysark Ln. in Suffolk, was called home to be with the Lord on February 18, 2014. Tom touched the lives of many people with his smile and kindness and maintained his trademark sense of humor all the way to the end.
A native of Portsmouth, he was the son of the late Maynard W. and Shirley J. Garrett. A member of Community Church at Western Branch, he was a retired Portsmouth School administrator and adjunct instructor at Old Dominion University. A noted local sports historian, he was the author of four books on sports in Hampton Roads area. An avid fan of Old Dominion University sports you could count on seeing him at Monarch football, basketball or other sporting events. He held membership in the Portsmouth Sports Club, Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, Society for American Baseball Research and it's Jerry Malloy Negro League Committee Leadership Team, and the Friends of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY. (More)

Friday night football at ODU will be a challenge
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 15, 2014)

We learned earlier this week that Old Dominion's football team will play under the lights on a Friday night for the first time at Foreman Field on Sept. 26, when the Monarchs host Middle Tennessee State in a game slated for national television.
But unlike Virginia Tech, which has long hosted weekday games in order to bring ESPN's cameras to Blacksburg, ODU's campus is located in an urban setting. And playing on a weekday will present logistical problems at ODU that the good people at Tech don't have to deal with.
As 20,118 fans pour into Foreman Field that night, 45 classes will be underway around campus. Friday night, it seems, is a big night for people to take night classes.
If there is an average of 20 students per class, and that's probably a low number, that means 900 students and dozens of faculty members will be at work in classrooms while football is being played.
There may be a high school football game scheduled for Powhatan Field, whose parking lot is usually filled with tailgaters during ODU football games.
Hampton Boulevard is a commuter route for thousands of people who work at the port and for the Navy. Many will be headed home to Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk just as football fans are heading into parking lots around Foreman Field.
Here's are some educated guesses as to what might happen on Sept. 26:
* The game time hasn't been set, but after looking at last year's Conference USA schedule, I'd bet it likely will begin at 7 or 7:30.
* Fans likely won't have the four full hours of tailgating prior to a game that they are accustomed to. If the game starts at 7, tailgating would under normal circumstances begin at 3. But I suspect the lots likely won't open until a couple of hours before game time. Brats and beer at 3 p.m. on a weekday on a college campus just don't seem to mix. (More)

We're winning a few battles in war on homelessness
(Opinion, The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 19, 2014)

Leap across the wide, waterlogged ditch behind a Chesapeake parking lot. Scale the sloping, slippery hill full of branches and roots, trying not to fall - like I did.
Gaze straight ahead, at the motley collection of old blankets and blue tarps, plywood and plastic chairs, staking out a 10-foot-by-20-foot rectangle. Hundreds of soggy leaves serve as the floor. And you immediately know:
Somebody lived here.
Chesapeake officials showed me the makeshift camp last week, as I accompanied them on their annual canvass of the homeless. The wooded area off Battlefield Boulevard is near the Edmonds Corner Mobile Home Park.
Nobody was around during my predawn visit. But it was clear - from the discarded water bottles and other debris - that people without permanent shelter had slept here. ...
Virginia Beach should soon ink a contract to design a new Housing Resource Center on Witchduck Road. Still being planned, its facilities would include day services and emergency shelter for families and individuals. It also would expand the offerings now available at the Lighthouse Center at the Oceanfront.
The Beach is also working with VSH to build the Crescent Square project, said Andy Friedman, the city's director of housing and neighborhood preservation. It would have 40 units for the formerly homeless, plus 40 affordable efficiency apartments for working adults.
On March 11, local advocates and public officials will meet at Old Dominion University for the latest regional conference on ending homelessness. The event is held every two years. (More)

Sheri Colberg, PhD, ADA 2013, Q11: How do you keep up your physical activity during conferences?
(Video, Diabetes in Control, Feb. 19, 2014)

Dr. Colberg answers the question of how you can get exercise while constantly on the go as you are when at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) annual meeting. One tip she gives us is to be sure to bring your friends along as well as taking advantage of any fitness equipment at the hotel. She also advocates for cross-training and changes her routine frequently both to improve fitness and to keep things interesting. (More)

Did people confuse 'astronomy' with 'astrology' in the NSF study?
(The Washington Post, Feb. 18, 2014)

At the blog NeoAcademic, Richard Landers, a psychology professor at Old Dominion University, criticizes the National Science Foundation/ General Social Survey study that found large numbers of Americans believing that astrology is at least "sort of scientific."
In an earlier post and in a brief report at SSRN (which I updated on Feb. 18, 2012), I describe some of the results of the NSF study.
Landers speculates that people confused astrology with astronomy:
"Surely," I said to myself, "it's not that Americans believe astrology is scientific. Instead, they must be confusing astronomy with astrology, like I did those many years ago."
He then did a small study of 99 respondents on Amazon's MTurk to explore that possibility, paying each respondent 5 cents.
The first problem with Landers' study is that he claimed to have used the same wording for the astrology-as-science question as in the NSF survey, but he made three wording changes: He added two responses "pretty scientific" and "not too scientific" to the response set for the astrology question and deleted the response "sort of scientific." The NSF/GSS question-which he rewrote in three ways-had asked:
"Would you say that astrology is very scientific, sort of scientific, or not at all scientific?" (More)

Economist: Consumer debt jump "a good sign"
(Inside Business, Feb. 18, 2014)

U.S. household debt posted its largest quarterly gain in about six years, the New York Federal Reserve reported Tuesday, a sign that may bode well for the overall economy.
Household debt surged $241 billion in the final quarter of 2013, or 2.1 percent, which was the biggest gain since the third quarter of 2007. Old Dominion University economist Gary Wagner said the figures strongly suggest consumers have turned a corner in their willingness to take on more mortgage, credit card and student loan debt.
"During the recession and until now, households have been deleveraging, which means they've been reducing their debt burdens," Wagner said. "Instead of buying goods and services, people were paying down their debt.
"One of the reasons why I think the economy is going to grow faster this coming year is households are now going to be taking the money they were using to pay down their debt balances at a much faster rate and buy goods and services."
In the latest quarter, total indebtedness stood at $11.52 trillion. It peaked at $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. (More)

L. Douglas Wilder serves as Keynote Speaker for ODU's Black History Program
(Pictures, New Journal & Guide, Feb. 18, 2014)

(A photographer from the New Journal & Guide attended L. Douglas Wilder's Black History Month address at Old Dominion University)
(More)

Blindness helped man see future in music, playwriting
(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 19, 2014)

YOU COULD PROBABLY guess how Corey Staten got his nickname. It grew from conversations that went like this: "Hey, you should get Corey to perform for you."
"Who's Corey?" "You know Corey, he's the talented blind guy." Hence, Corey The Talented Blind Guy was born. "That's the way they remember me - the blind guy who can sing, play drums, tell stories and does poetry," Staten said.
The real Corey Staten was born in 1975. And he wasn't born blind, either. Staten, who lives in Norfolk's Ghent neighborhood with his wife and three daughters, lost his sight when he was 19. Had he not become blind, Staten says, he doesn't think he would have gone to college - or been a playwright . One of Staten's latest plays hit the stage earlier this month.
"It definitely reshaped my life in a lot of ways," said Staten, who works part time for the city of Portsmouth's museums. "I wish it hadn't happened, but I'm glad for the things it brought into my life." ...
He continued his studies at Old Dominion University, where one of his professors was Hugh Copeland, the founder and artistic director for The Hurrah Players family theater company. (More)

After the flood: finding ways to insure the uninsurable without breaking the bank
(The Conversation, Feb. 18, 2014)

By Diane Horn
More wet and windy weather arrives week after week, with the inundated areas of the south and southwest of Britain still at the mercy of the elements. Even while politicians begin the blame game, we should look further ahead to when the floodwaters recede, the clean-up begins - and talk turns to who will pay.
In most countries, the government plays a role in covering flood losses. The UK is unusual because the government does not award compensation directly to individuals. Money is provided to local authorities through the Bellwin Scheme to reimburse the costs of emergency measures taken to safeguard life or property. But this is only intended to cover uninsurable risk.
Damage to private property is considered insurable and is not covered, which means compensation is drawn from the insurance industry, or charitable aid. The Prince's Countryside Fund and the Duke of Westminster were among the first to make donations to help the flood victims, donating £50,000 each. As the floods continue, other businesses have pledged support. The government has also announced new measures, including a £5,000 grant to households and businesses to pay for repairs which improve a property's ability to withstand future flooding. But most of those with property underwater will have to rely on insurance.
Diane Horn receives funding from the ESPRC for an industrial CASE studentship with the Willis Research Network as industrial partner titled 'Future Flood - modelling the impact of planning policy on flood vulnerability and insurance risk in the Thames Gateway'. She has also received funding as part of a visiting scholarship from the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia.
(More)

Teresa Vanasse Schmidt running for Hampton council
(The Daily Press, Feb. 17, 2014)

Teresa Vanasse Schmidt wants voters to know she lives in Fox Hill, but she's an advocate for the city.
The Edgewater Road resident is now among four candidates seeking the three full-term City Council seats available this May. Councilmen Donnie Tuck and Will Moffett have announced they plan to run for re-election. Planning Commission Chairwoman Gaynette LaRue has also her intention to run.
Schmidt said she has an eye toward improving schools and making Hampton more attractive for potential home buyers and business owners.
In an interview, she said the city is a prime location for better businesses and new home construction. She is also aiming her campaign at improving schools and increasing public safety throughout the city. ...
Schmidt also unsuccessfully attempted to gain the Republican nomination for the House of Delegates 91st District seat in 2011.
The Fox Hill resident has leaned on her lifelong residency in Hampton and ties to the religious community. Schmidt's father owned Vanasse Bait & Tackle along Dandy Point Road for almost three decades before closing the shop in 2002.
"I'm a Hamptonian - this city is too small to segregate its neighborhoods," she said. "I want what's best for the city."
Schmidt and her husband, Leonard, have three sons.
She received a bachelor's degree in computer science from Old Dominion University and is employed as the assistant director and treasurer at Community Presbyterian Preschool in Hampton. (More)

"This brightens the spotlight on ODU"
|(The Virginian-Pilot, Feb. 18, 2014)

Old Dominion's first Conference USA football home game against Middle Tennessee State has been moved to a Friday night so it can be televised nationally.
Originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27, the game will instead be played a night earlier at Foreman Field. The game was moved at the request of C-USA officials, who will pay ODU $100,000 for the move.
Athletic director Wood Selig said playing on a Friday night will present logistical problems the school doesn't face on a Saturday. There are 45 classes scheduled on Friday nights, meaning parking could be an issue. ODU also needs to work with the city of Norfolk on traffic flow and made other adjustments if there is a high school game at Powhatan Field, located just off campus.
"But it's our first Conference USA home game, and it's on national TV," Selig said. "This game will require a lot of work, a lot of cooperation from everyone on our campus. But it's going to be worth it. This brightens the spotlight on ODU and our transition" to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
ODU officials have lobbied the conference for a Friday night home game to bring national TV to Norfolk. C-USA has television contracts with Fox Sports, which includes multiple networks, as well as the CBS Sports Network.
Unlike many college football game broadcast on Friday nights, officials expect this game to sell out; ODU has sold out all 35 games played at its 20,118-seat stadium.
"I can't wait to see Foreman Field under the lights on a Friday night," said quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who will be a senior next season. "The atmosphere will be intense." (More)