Living Democracy students explore small towns in Alabama
by Jim Little | News Writer
Jul 29, 2014 | 274 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jelani Moore, sophomore in media studies, standing by the mural he helped organize in Elba. (Contributed by Nan Fairley)
Jelani Moore, sophomore in media studies, standing by the mural he helped organize in Elba. (Contributed by Nan Fairley)
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Shaye McCauley, junior in social work, stands in front of her town’s sign. (Contributed by Nan Fairley)
Shaye McCauley, junior in social work, stands in front of her town’s sign. (Contributed by Nan Fairley)
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“I felt really sad leaving,” said Cristiana Shipma, freshman in public relations, during a July 16 conference call. “It was like moving away for college.” Shipma left Linden after spending the summer working with the Living Democracy program. The conference call she and three other students in Living Democracy were on was part of a biweekly check-in made by Mark Wilson, director of Civic Learning Initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts, and Nan Fairley, associate professor of journalism. Living Democracy is a summer-long program in which students move to small towns in Alabama and partner them with civic and community organizations to experience what life is like in those communities, Wilson said. “It’s a chance to get a great experience and a great adventure,” Fairley said. Jelani Moore, sophomore in media studies, spent his summer in Elba, where he helped organize and paint a community mural project featured on Auburn University’s homepage. Moore also led an effort to redesign Elba’s town flag.The projects he worked on this summer have been designed to capture Elba’s community spirit. Moore said he feels community spirit is important for Elba because of the challenges the small town faces. Elba’s economy depends on the traffic it gets from U.S. Highway 84. However, a bypass is being built around the town, Moore said. “If we keep that spirit alive, the bypass won’t affect it,” Moore said. Lowery McNeal, junior in history, worked with Old Cahawba Archaeological Park while living in Selma over the summer. McNeal arrived at the Alabama Historical Commission and said they were selling parts of the park because of budget shortfalls. “Getting projects finished has been tough because of funding,” McNeal said. Despite the budget challenges, she said living in Selma and working with Old Cahawba has provided great experiences. “She entered the summer at a time when everything was crumbling with her organization,” Wilson said. “None of this is engineered to be perfect.” Shaye McCauley, junior in social work, worked closely with the local library in Collinsville. McCauley organized several reading groups that brought in children from pre-school to high school. “We did ‘Fahrenheit 451’ with the high schoolers and the discussion was amazing,” McCauley said. McCauley was also involved in a reading program that reached out to the diverse community in Collinsville. “Collinsville is the most diverse town in DeKalb County with a large Hispanic community,” McCauley said. “Everyone in the town is very accepting of one another.” Seventeen students have lived and worked in seven rural Alabama communities since Living Democracy started in 2012. The program will start recruiting new students in the fall. “These communities love having a young person come in who can bring energy to the community,” Wilson said. As Shipma’s part on the July 16 conference call was ending, she said she used to think living in small town, such as Linden was impossible because there were no people or big box stores. After getting to know the town, Shipma said she really learned to appreciate what small towns have to offer. “It’s taught me to view towns and businesses in a much more personal light,” Shipma said. ___________________________________________________________________________________
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Industrial design students create an updated cane for a handicapped veteran
by Rachel Davis | Intrigue Writer
Jul 28, 2014 | 4248 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(Contributed by Jerrod Windham)
(Contributed by Jerrod Windham)
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(Contributed by Jerrod Windham)
(Contributed by Jerrod Windham)
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The Assistive Technology Collaborative Project is a studio involving the department of special education, rehabilitation and counseling and the department of industrial design. The project consists of teams that include of two industrial design undergraduate students, a rehabilitation graduate student and a handicapped veteran. Trevor Johnson and Amelia Wilson, seniors in industrial design, and Brooke Molnar, recent graduate with a master’s degree in collaborative special education, worked together with client Wesley Self, a veteran suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. “Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative disease that does damage to the retina,” Johnson said. “He has no peripheral vision, and his wife says it's like looking through a straw. As a result, he also has night blindness.” Molnar did research about the eye disease, being mainly involved at the beginning of the studio. “My main role was to interact with the veteran and help facilitate the conversation about difficulties he may have and wants he may have,” Molnar said. Johnson and Wilson created a new cane to assist Self’s eye condition. “For the handle, we made a lanyard that went around your wrist that had a magnet,” Johnson said. “If the cane was to get knocked off, it would snap away, kind of like the connectors for Apple. We had that magnetic release lanyard.” In addition to the lanyard, the duo made updates to the cane tip and created a special vibrating handle. “The tip of the cane can roll in all directions,” Johnson said. “It has a tiny sensor that can determine the distance to an object and relay that to a micro-processor. It essentially can be used like a metal detector except it senses objects, walls and obstacles for people who can't see.” The process from beginning to end involved sketches and three 3D printed prototypes, according to Johnson. Other students in the studio tested the prototypes. “They just kind of closed their eyes and walked up stairs,” Johnson said. “One of these [tests], I just put stuff out in the hallway.” Leslie Dickson, senior in industrial design, also has limited vision due to a birth defect. She was also part of the studio and tested the cane. “Leslie, she actually does have really limited vision,” Johnson said. “She was in our studio. It worked out [for her]. It was actually really cool to see it work out.” It worked out for Self as well, which was a very gratifying feeling, according to Wilson. “My favorite part of the project was presenting prototypes to our client,” Wilson said. “It was awesome to see what features he got excited about and the process of figuring out how to improve them was challenging, but fun. It was super gratifying seeing how much our client liked our functioning prototype.” Molnar agreed, saying that presenting the final product to the veteran was the most rewarding part of the experience for her. Part of the studio assignment is to put in a patent for the final product. The project is not completely done, however. Johnson is working with Jerrod Windham, assistant professor of industrial design and one of the leaders of the project, to fix some of the issues with the cane to make it able to be manufactured. “The way the cane connects isn’t perfect,” Johnson said. “We had problems with the connections because 3D printing is a little finicky. You can get pieces that snap off or don’t fit right, so we need to fix how it all fits together. The model needs to be fixed to where you could actually mass produce it, and right now there are some issues with that.” While Self has the final project from the semester, Johnson plans to give him the final, reworked cane. “I think we’re probably going to give him the one we redo because it had those connection problems and it’s hard to change the battery and stuff,” Johnson said. “That’s one thing I’m working on is getting a way for the battery to fit in easier, so you don’t have to open the whole cane.” Johnson said he hoped the cane will be finished by the end of the summer.
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jokesoneyou
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July 28, 2014
IceTiger makes good points. The main problem is attracting enough students to the shows. I remember in 2004 when one of the great bluesmen still alive (Taj Mahal) played a show at the Supper Club. There were only 50-75 people there, and very few of the attendees were students. It's only gotten worse since then. I'll add that there are plenty of good musicians coming to the extended Auburn area. In just the past few years, I've seen Alabama Shakes, the Civil Wars, Jason Isbell (multiple times), Houndmouth, Shovels and Rope, Junior Brown, and many more great acts in Waverly or Opelika. That's not to mention the acts that come to Auburn with the Sundilla Concert Series or even local acts like the Larry Mitchell Band, which features a Grammy-award winner. As far as venues are concerned, why would anyone want to build a 3,500-seat venue when Auburn can't even sell out a bar?
Broken gas pipe causes kitchen fire in Checkers
by Ashtyne Cole | News Editor
Jul 28, 2014 | 667 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(Contributed by Eva Kamal)
(Contributed by Eva Kamal)
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The fire that broke out at the Checkers located at the intersection of Glenn Avenue and Gay Street has been linked to a gas pipe burst. The fire, which occurred at approximately 11 p.m. on Monday, July 7 was caused after a gas pipe under the main grille in the restaurant’s kitchen burst. At the scene, Auburn Fire Department battalion chief Matthew Jordan first believed the fire was caused from a buildup of grease. Jordan was able to see the full damage of the kitchen. “Employees pulled the hood extinguishing unit and evacuated,” Jordan said. “When we arrived we could see flames from the top of the structure.” There were three employees inside the Checkers at the time and there were no injuries. According to the daughter’s owner and proxy, Eva Kamal, Checkers has been closed due to damages accrued by the fire since the seventh. “We were actually given the green light from the city to resume operations last Friday,” Kamal said. “But we’ve had to wait for companies, such as Coca Cola, to come down here and give us the ok to continue.” Kamal said she was very disappointed in Coke because the company did not send a representative until Tuesday, July 22, 15 days after the accident. Kamal had to put off repairing the roof, which was rotting and falling in, until after Coke left on Tuesday afternoon. “The next morning, it didn’t look like the fire did much damage at all,” Kamal said. “I saw that I would have to replace the grille, but as we continued looking it was found that the damages were more severe.” Kamal said the damages are approximately $50,000. There was extensive water damage caused by a busted water line that occurred during the fire. The water gushed into the restaurant for 15 hours before it was discovered and turned off. “We couldn’t figure out where all this water was coming from,” Kamal said. “The fan was getting fried and the ceiling was falling down in clumps and the water kept coming.” Kamal said the only thing keeping her from reopening is insurance money to help fund the repairs. “The new equipment is so expensive and I can’t pay for it all on my own.” Kamal said as she wrote a personal check to one of her employees. “I wanted to keep my employees so I have been paying them every day we have been closed, even using my personal money.” The employees of Checkers spent the entire weekend after the fire helping clean and trying to salvage the restaurant’s kitchen. The fire was the fourth claim filed by Checkers in the past year. Twenty days before, the main freezer broke down and it was five days before the contracted company made any attempt at a repair. All of the food on the premises was spoiled. “Hopefully we can be back and operational by this Tuesday,” Kamal said. “After all of the rough patches we have had, I’m planning on coming back with a bang.”
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