University of Texas-Austin stabbing victim identified, murder charge expected

USA TODAY College– May 1, 2017

A knife attack Monday afternoon at the University of Texas-Austin near the student recreation center and the campus library left one dead, according to CBS Austin, and three others with injuries.

Police identified freshman Harrison Brown as the victim at a press conference Tuesday. Two of the other victims have been released from the hospital, according to a UT President Greg Fenves.

Kendrex White, a junior at UT-Austin, was armed with a “large, Bowie-style hunting knife” when arrested and is expected to be charged with murder, according to Austin police.

White studies biology, according to the university directory, and the Austin American-Statesman reports he is a member of the Black Health Professionals Organization student organization on campus.

“He was always the sweetest guy, laughing, and having a good time with people. He and I took IB classes together my junior and senior year so this is definitely a shock,” Angela Bonilla, a UT-Austin student who went to high school with White in Killeen, Texas, told the Killeen Daily Herald.

Authorities are working to understand White’s motivation for the attack. UT police Chief David Carter said at the Tuesday press conference White had been involuntarily committed in another city for mental health issues, Dallas Morning News reports.

The attack happened at 1:46 p.m. local time, in a high-traffic area of campus with many witnesses.

Freshman Rachel Pritchett, an eyewitness to the attacks Monday, told the Austin American-Statesman she heard people screaming and then saw a man holding what “looked like a machete.” She said she ran away after watching him use it to stab another man.

Krishant Dania, another eyewitness, told USA TODAY College he was reading at a picnic table when the attack started. “I heard gasping down the table, and I saw a guy with a bunch of blood going down him,” he said. The freshman immediately went to help. “I went over, and I clamped my hands on him, trying to apply some pressure.”

Looking up, Dania spotted the assailant continuing the attack. “I see a guy walking down with a machete, and he raises up his arm … and he gets a guy in the back of the neck in front of the food trucks,” he said. He says the attacker looked at him briefly and moved on. He seemed calm, according to Dania.

“He was very nonchalant; just chilling, just stabbing people. He was just walking along. He wasn’t acting suspicious. You wouldn’t have known he was up to anything if he didn’t have a huge knife,” Dania said.

Austin emergency services first tweeted about the stabbing at 1:56 p.m. local time.

The Washington Post reported that it took police two minutes to arrive on the scene after receiving the first call, and Austin Police tweeted about it at 2:07 p.m. local time.

Students were not issued an official alert by the university until 2:15 p.m., nearly a half-hour after the incident occurred. Many students and others have criticized the school on social media for its response time.

The university later canceled classes and events for the rest of the day, stressing that no ongoing threat remained.

Facebook also activated a safety check.

“There are no words to describe my sense of loss,” tweeted Fenves.

This attack comes three days after a knife attack at another university, Transylvania University in Kentucky.

Ohio U student recites Dr. Seuss stories outside bars for final exam inspo

USA TODAY College– May 1, 2017

If you don’t like green eggs and ham but you do like a weekend outing to the local bars near Ohio University, you may run into a college student who likes to recite Dr. Seuss stories after the bars close.

Ohio University junior Justin Falkenbach has been reciting these poems outside of bars during finals week– sometimes gathering crowds of up to 300 people.

Falkenbach said he was at a bar Wednesday night after taking a final exam when one of his friends handed him a Dr. Seuss book for open mic night.

“I started to read [to my friend] but the bar was closing, so I was like, ‘Alright, story time outside’,” Falkenbach said. “About 10 people followed me outside and sat down to hear me read The Cat in the Hat.”

He said those 10 or so people soon turned to about 200 people excitedly listening and joining in on the rhymes. Falkenbach said he read all 61 pages of the book.

The next night, Falkenbach said he carried a copy of Green Eggs and Ham with him, and took to the streets for another reading at 2 a.m.

“At least 300 people were there. Apartments nearby started playing music and people were dancing in the streets, so the police showed up and shut it down,” he said.

Finally, Friday night Falkenbach said he read Oh, the Places You’ll Go! for all the graduating seniors who were out for a drink after taking finals.

In addition to achieving Twitter fame within the OU community and even nationally, Falkenbach ended his junior year of college with a bang, saying it was one of his favorite college nights ever.

“It was a good way to end the school year and fun for everyone involved,” Falkenbach said. “I’m not sure if I’ll do it again — maybe I’ll break it back out during finals week again next spring for my senior year. Our university is truly a magical place and I think the randomness of this just solidifies that statement.”


The battle over Ann Coulter speaking at Berkeley is going to court

USA TODAY College– April 24, 2017

The Young America’s Foundation and the Berkeley College Republicans just filed suit against UC Berkeley, seeking damages for constitutional rights violations after the university sought to cancel a speech by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter planned by students.

Coulter was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley this Thursday, but the university cancelled the event over safety concerns. Even though the university reversed course and said Coulter could speak on campus a different day, the groups hosting Coulter are taking it to court.

The UC Berkeley Police Department said they have received notice that groups that previously protested and fomented violence in Berkeley have planned to agitate again at Coulter’s speaking event.

UCPD wrote a letter to the attorney representing the Berkeley College Republicans and YAF, which supports the Coulter event, that said the university cannot protect Coulter and student supporters from anticipated violence as no campus venues could accommodate the security threats.

YAF wrote on their website that the university had plenty of notice of Coulter’s speaking date, but “instead of moving forward with event logistics for Coulter’s lecture, Berkeley’s administration chose to play a shell game with conservative students, only to ultimately cancel the event.”

YAF said UC Berkeley was unwilling to work with conservatives and protect the right of free speech. “Berkeley, we’ll see you in court,” YAF wrote.

Coulter told The Hollywood Reporter she still plans to speak on Thursday at UC Berkeley.

The College Republicans content that the university “hates free speech.”

In February, the university cancelled a Milo Yiannopoulos event over safety concerns. Still, fires and fights broke out during the demonstrations against the right-wing conservative.

President Donald Trump even threatened to take away federal funding from Berkeley.

On Friday in a Facebook post, Yiannopoulos said he will be hosting a multi-day event, “Milo’s Free Speech Week,” in response to controversies over conservative speakers being protested and cancelled on college campuses, particularly at Berkeley.

He said the week will include events on campus at Berkeley and if the university does not help with planning and executing the events, “Milo Week” will be extended to an entire month.

“I intend to return Berkeley to its rightful place as the home of free speech — whether university administrators and violent far-left antifa thugs like it or not,” Yiannopoulos wrote.

Last week, alt-right leader Richard Spencer won a court case for the right to speak at Auburn University after the university canceled on him — and he went ahead and spoke, amid protests.

USA TODAY College reached out to the Berkeley College Republicans and YAF for comment on the Berkeley lawsuit.

10 apps that can help you ace your finals

USA TODAY College – April 19, 2017

It’s final exam season, and your GPA is on the line. Sure, you could study the old school way: Pen, paper and a textbook. Or, you could use technology and study for your finals right in the palm of your hands. Numerous education apps on the market can help you study for any class from Spanish to biology to calculus.

Don’t wait until the last minute to learn an entire semester’s worth of coursework. Start studying for your finals early, and download an app that will help you survive this semester’s finals. Here are a few ideas.


Have a huge research paper due at the end of the semester? This free app, available on iOS and Android, will help make your bibliography perfect. You can search books, journals, websites, etc. on the app or scan a book barcode to generate a citation. The app allows you choose from more than 7000 styles to format your bibliography, so don’t worry if your professor wants a format other than the typical APA, MLA or Chicago style. There is even a website to do everything online.


Studying for a Spanish or French final can be hard, but this app makes it a lot easier. Duo Lingo is free and has skill lessons for 23 languages. In addition to interactive learning games and flash cards, the app has a feature where you can practice speaking a language and having a conversation with a bot. This app is available on iOS, Android and Windows.


This free app allows you to do the classic flash card studying method digitally. After making a set of flash cards, you can study by flipping through each flash card, filling in the blank, matching or playing an interactive study game. Flashcards can even include photos or diagrams. Quizlet is available on iOS and Google Play.


If you love flash cards, you have options. Tiny Cards is another free app for flash card studying with memory games. You have the option of making your own decks of flash cards or searching from 10,000+ decks on the app. This tool can help you study languages or other subjects and is available on iOS.


Need to catch up on a few lectures before the big final? iTunes U has more than 1 million free lectures, videos, books and other class resources to help you ace your exam. This app has material from several colleges including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford and more.


This app is the ultimate place to store and create class notes. Your notes can include photos, videos, audio and sketches to give you a variety of ways to study. This app allows for creation of to-do lists so you can organize when and what you need to study. Evernote is free and available on iOS, Android and Windows.


The key to finish the semester and surviving finals is staying organized. Sometimes final exams are scheduled for different days or times than the regular class meeting time. Don’t accidentally sleep in and miss your 8 a.m. final exam. This app helps organize your workload and can be used to keep track of when your final exams are and when you need to study for them. My Study Life is free and available on iOS, Android and Windows.


Where are all the STEM majors at? This app helps you study for science or math, with more than 210 topics and 1,500 formulas. The student pack bundles together iMathematics Pro, iPhysics Pro and iChemistry pro for $6.99. If you don’t need the bundle, you can purchase the individual apps for $2.99 each from the Apple App Store.


As the name of app implies, Notability is for note-taking. This app allows you to type, sketch, annotate documents, write on photos, record audio and organize notes by subject. Writing features allow for flawlessly made graphs, diagrams and other designs. This app is available on iOS for $9.99.


Sometimes writing and reading over written notes isn’t enough. This diagram app is perfect for visual learners. Grafio 3 allows you to easily create diagrams or schematics with a variety of shapes, stencils, labels, fonts and more. This app is free and available on iOS.

May the odds be ever in your favor for your final exams!

UT diversity czar Gregory Vincent leaving to lead his alma mater

Austin American-Statesman– April 21, 2017

After more than a decade of fostering diversity and inclusion on and off the Forty Acres, Gregory J. Vincent will make this semester his last at the University of Texas before becoming president of his alma mater, Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York.

UT officials said they haven’t started the search to replace Vincent as vice president for diversity and community engagement, but they will begin soon because his last day will be July 16. For now, the university is focusing on celebrating Vincent’s time at UT, officials said.

The announcement Thursday that Vincent is leaving came as a surprise to much of the UT community.

“Though it is very difficult to see an accomplished leader depart our university, I know that Dr. Vincent will flourish in his new role and continue to transform the lives of students— just as he has done for so many years at UT,” UT President Gregory L. Fenves wrote in a message to the UT community.

Vincent was the first person to serve as vice president for diversity and community engagement at UT, where he has worked to improve inclusion in the community over the past 11 years.

In one of the most controversial moments of his tenure, he and Fenves led the removal of the statue of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis from where it stood for 82 years on the Main Mall.

Vincent also played a key role in the Fisher v. UT Supreme Court case, which Fenves said was one of the most powerful memories he has of working with Vincent.

“When the court later ruled in our favor, it was a victory for UT, and a victory for students across the nation,” Fenves wrote. “Dr. Gregory Vincent helped make it possible.”

“As you can imagine, the decision to leave UT was a difficult one,” Vincent said in his own statement. “The University of Texas at Austin has always been an exciting, fulfilling place to be. I love UT Austin and the only place for which I could leave this university is my alma mater.”

As vice president, Vincent oversaw the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and helped write the division’s first strategic plan, as well as the university diversity and inclusion action plan, which outlined eight key focus areas: university leadership, campus climate and culture, students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community, Pre-k through 12th grade and communication, assessment and accountability.

This year, Vincent celebrated the diversity division’s 10-year anniversary with a series of 30 events that will continue throughout the year, even after Vincent has left.

Vincent has also taught legal courses at UT over the past 10 years. The final course he taught was “Race and Law” this semester, which examined the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender and class within American law.

As vice president for diversity and community engagement, Vincent often took a prominent stand when the campus climate turned tense.

After anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant fliers were found on campus in February, he issued a statement condemning the posters, and he did so again when anti-Chinese fliers were found on campus in April. In October, after a bake sale protesting affirmative action was held, Vincent spoke at a community forum to explain affirmative action as it relates to college admission.

Even though Vincent is leaving soon, he said his work at UT is not yet finished.

“During the next few months, I will be working closely with President Fenves and continuing work on a number of important initiatives on campus and in the community,” Vincent said.

Leander man charged with possessing child porn, authorities say

Austin American-Statesman – April 21, 2017

A Williamson County man has been charged with four counts of possession of child pornography, the Texas attorney general’s office announced Friday.

The child exploitation unit of the attorney general’s office said investigators got a tip from authorities in Pennsylvania that led them to search the home of 26-year-old Joshua Carl Wulff of Leander.

There, investigators said, they found pornography on his laptop and charged Wulff with four counts of possession of child pornography.  Wulff faces up to 10 years in prison on each count, if convicted.

Authorities say investigators also took digital storage devices from Wulff’s home that will be looked at by the attorney general’s digital forensics unit.

According to a statement from the attorney general’s office, Wulff was interviewed and admitted to using social networks to seek children online.

Attorney General Ken Paxton said in the statement that adults should become aware of the risks their children face online and should be informed about online safety.

As of Friday, Wulff was being held in Williamson County Jail with bail set at a combined $60,000 for the four charges, according to jail records.

TEXAS STATE: Petition calls for removal of student senator in connection to probe into doctored lynching image

Austin American-Statesman: April 20, 2017

Students at Texas State University are petitioning for the removal of a student government senator for allegedly making racist and homophobic comments on social media.

The University Star reports that the petition is in connection to a university investigation into an image that had a Texas State student’s face edited onto a photo of a lynching.

The image was tweeted from an anonymous account in January. The tweet tagged the affected student and contained a racial slur. The tweet has since been deleted but the account remains.

On Wednesday Texas State was notified of the incident via a tweet criticizing student senator Corbin Cornwell and connecting him to the lynching image. The tweet also contained screenshots of what appears to be messages with vulgar and homophobic language sent from Cornwell to the affected student.

The university responded and said they would investigate the messages and the image. Cornwell denied creating the image, according to the University Star.

In February, a fake Facebook account was made under the affected student’s name and Cornwell was one of three people listed as friends.  

On Thursday, a petition to remove Cornwell from his student government position was made. Some students gathered signatures on campus and online, with more than 700 supporters in the petition’s first day.

Texas State student Nicholas Prejan, 22, was the one who tweeted the screenshots to the university and started the petition Thursday morning. Prejan is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. at Texas State and several of his fraternity brothers have taken part in getting signatures for the petition.

“We take it personally when someone in our community is marginalized or attacked,” Prejan said. The affected student “is a guy that everyone knows for being a caring person. When we saw a Texas State student being attacked we stepped up to shed light on the situation.”

Prejan said a conflict between Cornwell and the affected student began in January when the latter criticized the fraternities who were involved in the November death of 20-year-old Jordin Taylor, saying the fraternities should have been punished more harshly. Prejan said Cornwell is a member of one of the four fraternities who were suspended  in January following Taylor’s death. 

Prejan later tweeted screenshots of what appear to be an online exchange with Cornwell in which the latter apologized for sending the affected student the messages containing homophobic and vulgar language, but also threatened to sue Prejan for connecting him with the lynching image and said he did not author it. 

Thursday afternoon Texas State President Denise M. Trauth sent an email to the Texas State community saying an investigation had begun and if the student responsible for creating the image is found, he or she will face disciplinary action.

“While the university is committed to the principles of free speech, it is also dedicated to fostering civil discourse and Texas State does not tolerate communications that are threatening, harassing or racially motivated,” Trauth wrote.

Neither the affected student nor Cornwell could be reached for comment Thursday.

Accused identity thief sentenced for using postal master key to steal mail from hundreds, feds say

Austin American-Statesman– April 13, 2017

A federal judge sentenced a man to more than five years in prison for stealing mail and personal information from hundreds of victims in Austin, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

Federal officials said 55-year-old David Akharume Afenkhena will serve 65 months in federal prison for mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the release, Afenkhena  used a United States Postal Service “arrow key” to access mailboxes at several apartment complexes in and around Austin.

He used stolen personal identification information to open credit cards and bank accounts, officials said. He also used the stolen information to file fake income tax returns in order to get refund checks, they said.

Afenkhena admitted to committing these offenses and pleaded guilty on Jan. 23, authorities say.

The judge also ordered that Afenkhena pay $50,961.15 restitution and to be placed on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.–law/just-accused-identity-thief-sentenced-for-using-postal-master-key-steal-mail-from-hundreds-feds-say/aS2ivLitS22nCmBZ02PgjL/

Police arrest man for masturbating in front of child near East Austin elementary school

Austin American-Statesman – April 13, 2017

Austin police say a man masturbated in front of a woman and her four-year-old daughter as they were heading home from an East Austin school.

Rodrick Newsome, 36, is charged with indecency with a child by exposure, a third-degree felony punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

According to Newsome’s arrest affidavit, a woman was walking her daughter home from Norman Elementary School on Friday around 3:15 p.m. when a man, later identified as Newsome, yelled “Hey sexy. Hey baby” at them. Newsome had his pants down to his knees and was masturbating as he faced the victims, the affidavit said.

The woman said she and her daughter ran away and reported the incident to police, the document said. A witness said after the victims ran off, Newsome pulled up his pants and walked away, it said.

Around 4:30 p.m. that same day, police received a call from another woman who said a man was hiding under her residence at 1304 Delano Street. Police said after arriving they found Newsome hiding in the residential dumpster and arrested him, the affidavit said.

Newsome admitted approaching a woman and her child that day but denied he had masturbated in front of them, the document said.