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A spirit that is not afraid


The State Press

Swine Flu Incident at Local Summer Camp Event

Two children attending the Kaleidoscope camp at Auburn Junior High School on July 15 were diagnosed with H1N1 influenza.The parents of the children, both from the same family, informed the City of Auburn Parks and Recreation who had organized the summer camp."The parents notified us that the children had been diagnosed last Wednesday," said Becky Richardson, director of Auburn Parks and Recreation.

Jule Collins-Smith Museum / ATTRIBUTED

Dance Group Displays 'Man'

Auburn's new performance dance group called the Layman Group performed its first exhibition, "Man," Thursday night at the Jule Collins-Smith Museum.Through a correlation of music, dialogue, audience response and improvisational dance, the one-night performance "Man" addressed the stereotypes and ideals of the meaning of manhood at home and within the larger society, according to the JCSM Web site."The purpose of 'Man' is not to make statements about masculinity, but to let people watch and listen and form their own opinions," said Doc Waller, executive artistic director of the Layman Group.

Austin Nelson/Associate Photo Editor

Prisoners Get Artistic

When it comes to creativity, Auburn University has found a new outlet for a group of people society forgets and often ignores: prisoners.The Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project was created in 2004, using grants from various foundations, including the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and began as an outreach with only one poet teaching in one prison.Today, this project has grown into more than 35 instructors teaching in 12 correctional facilities in Alabama with courses ranging from drawing to Southern literature."Education is good for everybody," said Kyes Stevens, director of the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project.

The Auburn Plainsman

Overdraft Expenses Weigh on Students

Everyone with a bank account dreads those two words that pop up because of a forgotten or miscalculated transaction: non-sufficient funds.As a result of the hectic lives many people lead, some lose track of their spending habits or make a deposit after depleting an account instead of making the deposit before."People must realize that checks written do not appear immediately on their telephone banking or Web banking transaction logs," said an executive of RBC Bank.

The Auburn Plainsman

Envision Opelika Announces New Community Foundation

Lee County's community-based organization, Envision Opelika, has announced the implementation on the Community Foundation of East Alabama, Inc."The basis of the foundation is to build funds for philanthropic purposes and non-profit organizations based on identified community needs," board member Barbara Patton said.

The Auburn Plainsman

FDA Votes to Consider Removing Acetaminophen Medications

The Advisory Committee for the FDA voted Wednesday to recommend the removal of prescription drugs, such as Vicodin and Percocet, that contain acetaminophen from the market, and to lower the recommended 24-hour dosage on over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers, such as Tylenol and Excedrin, that also contain the drug acetaminophen.The FDA estimated that the overdosing of acetaminophenis responsible for 640, more than half of which are unintentional, cases of acute liver failure each year. Based on that, the FDA advisory panel voted 21-16 to lower the maximum daily dose of OTC acetaminophen, which is currently 4 grams,or equivalent of eight pills, of a drug such as Extra Strength Tylenol.

The Auburn Plainsman

Governor Riley Announces First Class Pre-K Program

Gov. Bob Riley announced July 7th that 27 classrooms around the state will now be sites for the First Class Pre-K program.The nation's top-rated kindergarten program will now serve a total number of 3,808 children.According to the press release, since the First Class initiative first started in November 2007, 68 percent more four-year-olds are being served by the program, and there are now 213 First Class classrooms in Alabama."Alabama is providing the nation's highest quality pre-K program to more students than ever before," Riley said in the press release.

The Auburn Plainsman

Adults Taking Over Facebook

Is the idea of a virtual hangout for college students slowly being taken over by parental control?Facebook's largest age group is now ages 35 to 54, accounting for 28.2 percent of all U.S.

The Auburn Plainsman

Students Say Fast Food Ads Too Racy, Offensive

With the launch of a new less-than-subtle ad in Singapore, Burger King has taken its slogan of "Have it Your Way" to a whole new level.This sexually driven ad leaves no room for misinterpretation, unless the viewer is under the age of 12, but since its debut last month it has caused a stir around the globe."At first I think it's kind of funny, but highly perverted; if this were my company, I would say it was a huge mistake," said Patrick Williamson, a junior in marketing.

Tiger Transit Will Run at Night

Auburn University is looking to improve the safety and security of students on campus by implementing a new nighttime bus system this fall.The new night transit will assist in getting students from downtown to the stop of their choice, be it on-campus or off.Auburn's SGA helped design a system that now allows two different busing systems to co-exist and run efficiently.The Night Security Shuttle will provide security for the students going from parking lots to the dorms or other on-campus locations, but will no longer provide the taxi service for those in need of a ride downtown.This bus system will run like the Tiger Transit, but SGA President Jacob Watkins said it is important the two not be considered the same, as the routes differ slightly and the funding for the two systems comes from different places."Everywhere it stops is still a Tiger Transit stop, but we've consolidated some of the daytime routes into one route," Watkins said.

The Auburn Plainsman

Firehouse subs donates thermal imaging cameras to Auburn Fire Department

The sub restaurant founded by firefighters is taking the heat off some local firemen.The Firehouse Subs on Magnolia Avenue donated three MSA 5600 thermal imaging cameras to the Auburn fire department this afternoon.Chris Holmes, area representative for Firehouse Subs, said each camera is valued at around $10,000."We actually take donations from our customers and then we roll it all up together throughout the rest of the company and make donations to different public safety departments," Holmes said.Lee Lamar, fire chief, said the cameras search for and identify heat."A smoky environment where you have zero visibility and you've got a lot of different heat signatures in there, the camera can actually go in and differentiate those signatures and you can identify what's a bed, what's a wall and where a person or a body is," Lamar said.Lamar said the fire department previously only had one thermal imaging camera, which was purchased over a decade ago through fundraising efforts of citizens in the community.Lamar said one of the cameras will be placed in the battalion chief's vehicle, while the other two will be place in the department's ladder trucks."It allows us to find victims in structure fires and emergency operations a lot faster than we could before," Cody Carlson, an Auburn firefighter, said.Lamar said the donation is a tremendous asset to what the fire department can provide to the citizens of Auburn."By far the most important aspect of this is the life saving," Lamar said.

The Auburn Plainsman

Envision Opelika Opens Up the Community Foundation of East Alabama, Inc.

Lee County's community based organization, Envision Opelika, announced its latest achievement; the implementation of the Community Foundationof East Alabama, Inc.The community foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that dedicates itself to preserving resources in our community for both present and future generations."The basis of the foundation is to build funds for philanthropic purposes and non-profit organizations based on identified community needs," said Barbara Patton, a board member.

The Auburn Plainsman

Operation Lifesaver Announces Common Sense Campaign

Operation Lifesaver, Inc., announced the launching of their latest campaign, Common Sense, on June 24 with the hopes of reaching a younger audience and lowering the number of pedestrian accidents on railroad tracks.Operation Lifesaver is a national, non-profit public education program devoted to reducing the number of injuries and deaths that occur around railroad tracks."The purpose of this new Common Sense campaign is to address the problem that we're seeing with trespassing," said Nancy Hudson, executive director for Alabama Operation Lifesaver.

Alabama Receives Funds for Obesity Problem

Alabama is inching closer to becoming the most obese state, but with five communities in the state each receiving $3,000 to stimulate physical activity and nutrition programs, Mississippi may stay on top.The Chronic Disease Directors Association chose Alabama, as well as seven other states, to receive funds through the Balancing InTake and Expenditure grant.The State Obesity Task Force then divided the money among the five selected communities including Anniston, Birmingham, Greensboro, Millbrook and Montgomery.Miriam Gaines, nutrition and physical activity division director for the Alabama Department of Public Health, said Alabama applied and won the grant in early 2009 because of its intention of building the infrastructure of rural communities.It makes sense why Alabama is so far behind other physically fit states, like Colorado, she said."It's because (Colorado) has places where people want to go be active, where they have that infrastructure of walking and that expectation that it's going to be safe and pleasant."The grant money was open for everyone, but small organizations and the School of Architecture at Auburn University ended up applying and receiving the majority."Auburn students saw this as an opportunity, and they ran with it," Gaines said.It is the young people who are going to make a difference, she said.She is excited to see what impact the money has on the communities.Choona Lang, coordinator for the health and wellness ministry at Mount Gillard Missionary Church in Montgomery, said she is excited to use the money to expand an existing plan that began five years ago.In October there will be an additional health care fair with a community walk and lectures focusing on diabetes, healthy food choices, stress and smoking."We're trying to get the message out there about making wise, healthy life choices," Lang said.

Ashlea Draa/Photo Editor

Cambridge Coffee Closes for Repairs

An integral part of the coffee-lovers community across Auburn suddenly closed June 29.Owners of Cambridge Coffee on College Street closed their doors, turned off the lights and hung a "renovation" sign.A former employee of Cambridge, who did not want his identity revealed, said the shop is not undergoing aesthetic renovations, but has shut its doors and is considering a different business avenue."There's talk about all kinds of new types of businesses coming into this spot," he said.

The Auburn Plainsman

Meal Program Needs Support

Homebound. Alone. Hungry.Many do not know about the hundreds of people in Lee and Russell counties who struggle through each day and wonder when, or if, they will have a next meal.That is why the Area Agency on Aging recently extended an urgent request for donations to its unique Home Delivered Meals Program."As of May 1st, there's a waiting list for 191 people who asked for food," said Peggy Todd, AAA board member.

Ashlea Draa/Photo Editor

Sips and Strokes for Different Folks

A new business in Auburn is painting the perfect picture for a night out on the town.Sips N Strokes, located on University Drive, allows customers to get creative by participating in a painting lesson and going home with their completed work.As the name implies, customers are invited to bring in a beverage of their choice to enjoy while they paint.Brad Baggett, owner and manager of the Auburn branch of Sips N Strokes, said the painting classes are offered Monday through Saturday."Monday through Wed-nesday the classes are two hours long and cost $25 and from Thursday through Saturday, Sips N Strokes offers three hour classes for $35," Baggett said.The paintings offered during the three-hour classes are slightly more difficult.