Saint Mary’s students who are planning to remain on-campus for fall break have the opportunity to participate in the College’s third-annual “Staycation.”Rebekah Go, director of the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE), said the idea for “Staycation” came to her thinking about students staying on campus for fall break, when the dining hall is closed.“They were isolated and hungry,” Go said. “That made me really sad.”Go said she wanted to use her role in OCSE to engage students in the community during fall break.“[In the past] I think it’s been a meaningful group of students, in that they’ve all appreciated the opportunity that’s been provided because there hadn’t been anything else,” Go said.She said there have been students who participated in “Staycation” during both of its previous years.The cost of participating in “Staycation” activities is covered by the OCSE, but Go said there is a suggested donation of $5 per day.Kris Choinacky, assistant director of OCSE, said “Staycation” will begin Sunday and conclude Thursday evening. Participants do not have to attend every activity and may choose any and all they want to do, she said.The Staycation will open Sunday with a cookout at Choinacky’s house.“We planned to make it casual and have a bonfire and pumpkin carving,” she said.On Monday, participants will travel to nearby Potato Creek State Park.“We have a naturalist who’s going to speak to us about the history of Potato Creek,” Choinacky said. “There’s also a prairie maze there that they have for the fall. We’re also going to have a picnic there and just get to know the state park.”After that, participants will visit the west side of South Bend, where a speaker will give a talk about the revitalization occurring in the area, she said.The Monday evening activities include making cards for the Sisters of the Holy Cross and having pizza delivered to campus, Choinacky said.“We have scheduled a heritage tour at [the Church of Our Lady of Loretto] with the Sisters,” she said.Tuesday evening, participants will have dinner at Go’s house and then attend a Second City benefit for Howard Park, Choinacky said.“The Morris Performing Arts Center is bringing the Second City here for a benefit, and so I thought that really fit well with our mission here of helping out our parks department,” she said.Students will also have the opportunity to participate in service projects in the community, Choinacky said.“Anyone who wants to [can] come with me to Christ Child Society, where they offer free clothing to families,” she said. “A group of us would go and do that in the morning and then meet up afterwards for a light brunch at a downtown local restaurant.”She said students will also get to take a percussion class at the Potawatomi Conservatory.“[The conservatory has] Afro drumming with an instructor in the greenhouse,” she said.Other planned events include walking to the Indiana University-South Bend campus and traveling to the west side of downtown, including the Washington District, Choinacky said.“We would do a scavenger hunt in the different areas and go to the Studebaker Museum,” she said.Throughout the week, Choinacky said students will visit local restaurants in different parts of South Bend.“This is an opportunity to get our students out there to really embrace all the great things we have to offer in the South Bend region,” Choinacky said. “I want everyone to fall in love with South Bend the way I have, and if … the Staycation is the only time that [students] are able to really get outside of the Saint Mary’s campus, I’m glad they were able to do it with us.”Having grown up locally, Choinacky said she loves South Bend and wishes to share this love with students.Choinacky said registration for “Staycation” is currently under the attendance level necessary for the event to take place. She said students can contact her to register.“I think it gets a little lonely if you’re here all week, so why not have all these fun things to do?” she said.Tags: fall break, OCSE, Second City, South Bend, Staycation
LONDON, England (Reuters) – China’s Gong Lijiao ended her long wait for a global outdoor title when she won the shot put gold medal at the World Championships yesterday, utterly dominating the competition.The 28-old-year had won five silver and bronze medals at the World Championships and Olympics but gold had always eluded her until a chilly, wet night at the London Olympic stadium.Gong made light of the conditions as she broke 19 metres with five of her six attempts and won with a fifth throw of 19.94 metres.There were only two other throws over 19 metres – Anita Marton’s final effort of 19.49 which won silver for the Hungarian and American Michelle Carter’s third throw of 19.14 which took bronze.“It’s a very special moment for me. Of course, the rain affected the competition and that is the reason we didn’t go past 20 metres tonight,” Gong said.” I am glad to show all the hard work I’ve done in the past with this gold medal.”Gong first appeared on the scene as an 18-year-old at the 2007 World Championships where she finished seventh.She won Olympic bronze in Beijing in 2008 and silver in London in 2012 as well as world silver in Beijing two years ago.Gong was agonisingly close to ending that run in Beijing when she threw 20.30m in the opening round but lost out to Germany’s Christina Schwanitz by seven centimetres.
Categories: News,Roberts News State Representative Brett Roberts today said he will continue to support reforms protecting retirement benefits for police, firefighters and other municipal employees as bills move through the Michigan Legislature.“Our first responders provide an irreplaceable service to our communities, and we can’t take their sacrifices for granted,” said Roberts (R-Charlotte). “This issue deserves plenty of careful attention. We must make sure we find the best way to preserve retirement benefits and public services.”Roberts voted in favor of reform legislation related to municipal employee retirement plans last week. Roberts said he will continue to support the package as it progresses through the Legislature, as long as it remains limited to implementing recommendations of Gov. Rick Snyder’s task force from earlier this year.Thanks in large part to residents making their opinions known to legislators, the bills solely focus on the task force recommendations. The legislation emphasizes information gathering and reporting to help each individual municipality determine the financial health of their retirement plans. In cases where retirement plans are financially stressed, a municipal stability board would be created to help local governments find their own solutions.The reforms set up a system to help guide local governments with underfunded plans to solid financial footing, so they can continue to pay for promised retiree benefits and public services.“I was proud to stand with 104 of my colleagues in support of police officers and fire fighters across the state,” Roberts said of last week’s House vote. “This package will ensure that municipalities have the information necessary to adequately fund pension and benefit obligations for our first responders, without the state forcing them into potential fiscally irresponsible decisions.”House Bill 5298 and its companion bills have been referred to the Senate for further consideration.### 11Dec Rep. Brett Roberts supports legislation to safeguard first responder retirement benefits