Tony Frank, Joe Blake awarded incentive-based bonuses
During a closed performance review at the Aug. 9 CSU Board of Governors meeting, board members decided CSU President Tony Frank and System Chancellor Joe Blake deserved their annual incentive-based bonuses. These were later approved in public session.
Frank will be awarded $20,000 and Blake, who resigned in July, will receive $35,000 for work done last fiscal year.
While the bonuses were part of their contracts, ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg disagreed with the procedure through which they were awarded.
â€œThere was no time for discussion, no time for questions,â€ Berlinberg said. â€œThere was no time for student or faculty representation in the decision making.â€
CSU Student loses legs in train accident
A 17-year-old Colorado State University student lost her legs after falling from a freight train in Longmont on Sept. 5.
The victim, Anna Beninati, was treated at Denver Health Medical Center, where she was airlifted following the incident. Beninati survived the incident.
Beninati was trying to hop aboard the northbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train with three male friends when she slipped under, severing her legs at the knees.
Kathy Poiry, a Firestone resident and registered nurse, was idling in her car a train passed the Longmont intersection of Third Avenue and Atwood Street when she saw what appeared to be a bag drop from the railcar.
â€œIn my mind, I just couldnâ€™t believe it was a person,â€ Poiry said. â€œIâ€™ve never seen anything like it.â€
Poiry, who has been a nurse for 25 years, said she kept applying pressure to the wounds. Following the incident Beninatiâ€™s parents thanked those who helped on the scene.
â€œWe are grateful to the outpouring of support for our daughter following this horrific,â€ read a statement released by Beninatiâ€™s family. â€œFrom the first responders and transport teams, to the hospitals both in Longmont and Denver, we are thankful to everyone who came to her rescue.â€
Bash gone bad at Ramâ€™s Pointe
An annual welcome-back party at the Ramâ€™s Pointe apartment complex ended in disaster on Sept. 3, leading to an estimated 15 people being injured, 10 transported by ambulances and four arrested for fighting.
Garnering almost 3,000 confirmed guests on Facebook, the event started at 1 p.m. but, according to police spokeswoman Rita Davis, got out of control only two hours later when fire and ambulance responders were dispatched for cases of over-consumption of alcohol.
â€œI really just am not a partier so I didnâ€™t go last year,â€ said junior journalism major and Ramâ€™s Pointe resident Shelby Taylor-Thorn. â€œI remember sitting on my balcony counting ambulances, but it didnâ€™t get this out of hand. Itâ€™s just an excessively large group of people using our pool party as an excuse to get drunk and be idiots, more so than usual.â€
â€œI call it the hot tub rash move-in bash,â€ Taylor-Thorn added.
Friends and family of Sascha Franzel gathered on the Oval Sept. 12 for a candlelight vigil to celebrate and remember a life cut unexpectedly short â€” one marked with a kind heart and infectious laugh.
More than 150 people came to the Oval to share stories and memories of the third-year CSU student who passed away from unknown causes in her apartment on Sept. 11, just two and half weeks from her 20th birthday.
Describing themselves as â€œstruck and overwhelmedâ€ by the outpouring of community support, Saschaâ€™s parents, David and Sonia Franzel, said many people have approached them to talk about the positive impact their daughter had on so many lives.
â€œAs a parent, thatâ€™s what you want to read about and thatâ€™s what you want to see, what you want your kid to be,â€ David said during a gathering at the Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado.
FoCo Bans Medical Marijuana dispensaries
On Nov. 2 Fort Collins voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. Question 300 was victorious by a 52 percent to 48 percent vote.
â€œSince the dispensaries came, the character of the city has changed,â€ said Bob Powell, chairman of Concerned Fort Collins Citizens â€“â€“ the group that initiated the ban. â€œThis means that we have done something.â€
Steve Ackerman, owner of Organic Alternatives and long-time supporter of dispensaries said the election shows a lot about the election process in Fort Collins â€“â€“ a college town where he said the young vote seemed absent this election.
â€œWe got a lot of people to turn out, but we just needed more,â€ Ackerman said. â€œYoung people need to know that if you donâ€™t vote, you canâ€™t complain about the results.â€
Freshman found in Summit Hall, pronounced dead at hospital
After learning about the Nov. 28 death of CSU student Sean McGowan, undeclared freshman Charles Fierstine could only sum up the ordeal with one word: surreal.
â€œYou donâ€™t expect something like that to happen on campus, let alone in the residence halls,â€ Fierstine said.
McGowan, who was found unresponsive in his room in Summit Hall, was pronounced dead after being transported to Poudre Valley Hospital.
While a toxicology report is still pending, McGowanâ€™s death appears to be drug-related, said Greg Fairman, deputy coroner investigator for the Larimer County Coronerâ€™s Office.
Late night bus route approved in Fort Collins
A popular late-night bus route proposal received unanimous support from the Fort Collins City Council on Dec. 6, clearing the final hurdle in a process that has been in the works since spring.
â€œThis perhaps is an ideal solution to a problem that is extremely negative for Fort Collins,â€ said Mayor Karen Weitkunat, citing a need to deal with the image many see of Old Town after the bars close.
The Safe Ride Home Program was unveiled by the Associated Students of CSU in November and will consist of two routes servicing the Old Town area as well as areas to the west of campus at a cost of $1 per ride. It will be a supplement to the current bus system, and it will operate from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Drunk man releases birds in Morgan Library
A man was arrested at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, in the Morgan Library for violating his parole, but not before he managed to catch two pigeons in the libraryâ€™s construction area and release them near front desk employees, proclaiming, â€œItâ€™s just a bird! Itâ€™s just a bird!â€
According to witnesses, the man, who they say was clearly intoxicated, came up to the front desk holding the two pigeons and showed them to the employees working there.
He then released the pigeons, which flew behind the front desk area, and later re-caught the birds by going behind the front desk himself.
â€œHe caught the pigeons in a construction area and was trying to bring them to the employeesâ€™ attention,â€ said CSUPD spokesman Dell Rae Moellenberg.
Employees later caught one of the pigeons in a cardboard box, and the other escaped the library on its own devices, according to witnesses.
The birds initially entered Morgan through openings caused by the renovations currently underway in the library.
Athletic director fired, replaced by Jack Graham
In a shocking announcement Dec. 1, CSU President Tony Frank announced the firing of Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk.
â€œAs Iâ€™ve watched where Ram Athletics are going, I have become concerned about the signal that we are sending to people who view Colorado State University and form opinions about our university through the lens of athletics,â€ Frank said.
On the same day, Frank announced the hiring of former CSU football player John C. â€œJackâ€ Graham as the new athletic director.
Frank had met with Graham a couple weeks prior about possible funding for a renovation to Moby Arena. When Graham proposed a bigger change, including an on-campus football stadium, Frank decided he was the man to take CSU athletics to new heights.
Grahamâ€™s main goal will be to increase funding through private donors to help see the teams achieve great success.
â€œI want to see our football program be a top-25 ranked football team in the country,â€ Graham said. â€œI want to see us play in bowl games every year. I want our basketball programs to be consistently competing for conference titles and championships, I want us in NCAA Tournaments.â€
Steve Fairchild fired
Just four days after being named athletic director, Jack Graham fired football coach Steve Fairchild after three straight 3-9 seasons.
â€œResults are important,â€ Graham said. â€œAnd going 3-9 in three successive years is unacceptable. That in and of itself is enough to say that a change has to be made.â€
To help in the search of a new coach, CSU hired the international research firm Spencer Stuart to help find candidates.
While the process is ongoing, CSU assistant coaches will remain with the program and continue recruiting efforts.
Once the new coach is named, they will have the final say on what the makeup of the coaching staff will be.
Graham did not set a specific timetable, but said the process will move quickly because of the need to have a staff in place for recruiting.