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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

"Go Green" has some added meaning in East Lansing today.

Michigan State University officials say the university has reached an important fundraising goal.

Six years ago, MSU officials quietly launched the “Empower Extraordinary” campaign.

The campaign to raise $1.5 billion dollars to fund expansion of the East Lansing university’s business, medicine and music programs became public three years ago.

As of today, university officials say the campaign has met its goal, a full year ahead of schedule.

stack of dollar bills
tom_bullock / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Battle Creek mom Lori Truex didn't have the money to pay her daughter's Michigan State University tuition.

But she didn't let that stop her. Truex decided to stand on the side of a street asking for donations. Seventy nine days later, she was able to end her panhandling campaign, which she called "One Mom, One Year."

Former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar, wearing orange jumpsuit, in court Friday.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar will stand trial for allegedly sexually assaulting six women and girls, all of whom were 15 years old or younger at the time. He’s accused of using his fingers to penetrate them vaginally and anally, without gloves or consent, under the guise of medical treatment.

As a respected MSU professor and a former Olympic gymnastics team doctor, the prosecution argues he used his reputation to make his alleged victims believe this was legitimate treatment.

Larry Nassar in the court room on Friday, June 23.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Kate Wells is at today's hearing for Larry Nassar. She'll be live-tweeting from the court room. As a warning, some of these tweets may describe sensitive or explicit situations.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University plans to press incoming freshmen to sign up for more courses.

MSU President Lou Anna Simon says studies show first-year college students who take 30 credits their freshman year are more likely to graduate in four years.

“If you take more credits, no matter your preparation the first year, you’re going to be able to graduate higher,” says Simon, “Student success is really important because you’re investing a lot of money and the value of your degree is when you finish.”

Caleb Woods/Upsplash

Dr. Larry Nassar is back in court this week. The former Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor is accused of sexually abusing dozens of patients, under the guise of treatment.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study says as we age, friendships become more important to happiness than family ties.

William Chopik is an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University.

Spartan stadium
Flickr/Ken Lund / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Three Michigan State University football players have been charged with sexual assault stemming from an incident in January in which they allegedly sexually assaulted a woman on campus. 

Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the this case and others, including former Olympic gymnastics and MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

MSU police say the three men assaulted a young woman in a bathroom at a campus party
Flickr/Betsy Weber

On Tuesday morning, Detective Chad Davis told an East Lansing judge what MSU police believe happened in the early morning hours of January 16th.

At a party in an on-campus apartment, Davis says, a young woman started talking with Josh King, an MSU football player she’d met before. He asked her if she wanted to go somewhere quiet to talk, and pulled her into the bathroom.

There, Davis says King tried to initiate sex, but the woman says she told King she didn’t want to.

MSU football helmet
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan State University police announced Tuesday morning that three of the school’s football players have been charged with sexual assault.

Spartan Stadium
Ed Schipul / Flickr

Josh King, Donnie Corley Jr, and Demetric Vance were officially charged with sexual assault Tuesday morning, MSU police announced.

“King has been charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of capturing/distributing image of an unclothed person. Vance and Corley Jr. each has been charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct,” the department said in a release.

C/O Youtube

Michigan State University will not renew its contract with Curtis Blackwell, a school spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The news was first reported by Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.

Blackwell, a former Detroit high school coach and co-founder of the Sound Mind Sound Body football camp, was brought on staff for his relationships with potential recruits in the region.

Kate Wells

“How you doing, kiddo?” Judge Donald Allen asked a 17-year-old witness who’d just wrapped up a long, disturbing story of sexual assault that she says has damaged both her ability to trust and her desire to be touched. “That wasn’t fun,” she admitted, her eyes red and wet for the first time since she took the stand.

“Better than the dentist?” the judge joked.

“I’d much rather go to the dentist,” she replied.

lower half of gymnast on balance beam
James Thomas/flickr creative commons

Former Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar will be back in district court in Mason today. He'll face some of the women and girls who claim he sexually abused them while he was supposed to be treating their injuries.

MSU football players approach the field
Matt Radick / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

So here’s what we know: on Tuesday, the attorney for a woman accusing three MSU football players of rape, told the press that MSU’s internal Title IX investigation found all three men in violation of school policy.

“What I can share is that the Title IX investigation is complete,” says Karen Truszkowski, the lawyer for the accuser. “[MSU’s investigator] did a very fair, reasonable, thorough investigation. And the report does say that three young men involved in this are in violation of a university policy.”

Kate Wells

The courtroom was ready for an intense day: this is, after all, a case in which the defendant has been accused of sexual assault by not just the seven women and girls in this particular hearing, but by more than 80 complainants thus far, according to the Michigan State Police.

It was just the first of what may well be three days of testimony, as 55th District Court Judge Donald Allen weighs whether there’s enough evidence against Dr. Larry Nassar, former MSU sports doctor and  Olympic gymnastics team physician, to go to trial in this case.

Michigan State University

Former Detroit Tigers great Kirk Gibson plans to talk about dealing with obstacles when he addresses Michigan State University graduates during commencement ceremonies later today.

“Hopefully I’ll give them some insight in how to deal with that and move on and be productive and accomplish their goals,” says Gibson.

Gibson is facing a major obstacle himself as he battles with Parkinson’s disease.

He was diagnosed with the progressive neurological illness two years ago. 

Michigan State University sign
MSU

Michigan State University is asking a court to decide whether it has to release police and arrest records related to a highly publicized investigation. The records are related to the criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault that may involve members of the Spartan football team.

The sports network ESPN filed a request for the records under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. But the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office says releasing the records could interfere with the criminal investigation.

Drew, Cooper & Anding / YouTube Video

Since Rachael Denhollander went public with her accusations against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar in September, more than 80 women and girls have come forward with similar complaints.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new Michigan State University survey finds most Americans remain ignorant of the signs of mental illness and drug use.

The survey found most Americans can't recognize anxiety, don’t know what to do about depression and don’t recognize prescription drug abuse as a treatable problem.

MSU professor Mark Skidmore says, while more education is needed, progress is being made.

Larissa Boyce's scrapbook photos from the MSU Spartan youth gymnastics program
Courtsey of Larissa Boyce

What happens when a child reports sexual abuse, but adults don’t believe them?

City of Flint

A program to mow and maintain vacant lots is having a side effect in Flint: lower crime rates in those neighborhoods, including assaults, burglaries and robberies.

A Michigan State University researcher compared crime data to neighborhoods with active “clean and green” abandoned lots. He says his survey of crime stats from 2005 to 2014 shows crime rates decline as “clean and green” lots take hold.

Flickr Creative Commons

Four more former patients, including a 14-year-old dancer, are suing former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar for sexual abuse.

They join more than 80 other women and girls who claim Nassar abused them under the guise of treatment.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, one woman says Nassar abused her around 1992 to 1993, when he was still in medical school at MSU. A spokesman for MSU confirmed Nassar graduated in 1993.

Alberto Ortiz/Flicker

They're stunned, confused and outraged.

"I'm not a lawyer and have only a very basic understanding of our legal system,” says former Olympic gymnast Jamie Dantzscher, in an affidavit filed in federal court Tuesday. 

Brian Turner / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Lawyers for dozens of women who say they were sexually assaulted by a MSU sports doctor are trying to overturn a judge's gag order.

They asked a federal judge to intervene Tuesday and strike an order that bars attorneys and Larry Nassar's alleged victims from talking publicly. Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is overseeing a criminal case against Nassar and says his rights could be violated if the public is repeatedly served with negative comments about him.

Forty-four years ago, in another early spring, a young lawyer went to the President of the United States and told him, “There's no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we've got. We have a cancer within -- close to the presidency, that's growing. It's growing daily. It's compounding. It grows geometrically now, because it compounds itself.”

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Here’s the big question: Did a judge just block 80-plus women and girls from talking about their sexual assault allegations against former Olympic gymnastics and MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar?

Or does today’s order to “limit public disclosure” just mean that attorneys with civil suits against Nassar can’t call him a pedophile on Facebook?

Depends who you ask. And even some of the lawyers mentioned in this brief say they don’t totally understand how to interpret the order.

Nassar’s defense: We can’t get a fair trial without judge’s help

Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Records show a Michigan State University doctor resigned in January after learning the school was considering her termination because she didn't disclose that USA Gymnastics was investigating Dr. Larry Nassar.

MSU police say the three men assaulted a young woman in a bathroom at a campus party
Flickr/Betsy Weber

Members of the MSU women's gymnastics team were told to say "no comment" to any reporters or police asking about sexual abuse allegations against the team physician, Dr. Larry Nassar.

That’s according to a lawsuit (which you can read here) filed by a scholarship student on the team, who also says she was repeatedly assaulted by Nassar as a child.

A team meeting in September 

Shelby Kroske, MSU Libraries

 

Michigan State University historian Liam Brockey has spent years studying the history of Catholicism. Now, that scholarship is generating something unexpected: Oscar buzz.

Brockey served as a consultant on legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese’s latest work “Silence,” the story of two Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 1640's to find their lost mentor.

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