Top 10 stories of January 2014

10. Students, lawmakers seeking to break financial barrier for DREAMers

(Photo by Andrew Ybanez) (Photo by Andrew Ybanez)

Arizona voters approved Proposition 300, which prohibits those without proof of legal residency from being classified as in-state students for tuition purposes and from receiving state and federal financial aid, in November 2006. The difference in tuition for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate students on the Tempe campus is about $7,000 for the spring 2014 semester, which creates a barrier for DREAMers seeking a college education.



9. Tempe Police arrest 105 suspects in largest fraud case in Arizona history


Operation “Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself” is the largest fraud case ever investigated by the Tempe Police Department and the largest ever prosecuted by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, in terms of the number of suspects arrested and indicted, according to a press release from the Tempe Police Department.

8. ASU gymnastics dominates at Washington

(Photo by Arianna Grainey) (Photo by Arianna Grainey)

ASU gymnastics put together a complete performance, taking first place in the quad-meet on Jan. 18. The Sun Devils finished with a collective score of 195.900, as San Jose State took second with 194.825, followed by Washington (194.625) and UC Davis (191.850).

ASU’s best event of the night came on floor, as sophomore Allie Salas and Conrad opened up with consecutive 9.8s. Senior Sammie Seaman followed with a 9.850, and after Steigerwalt scored a 9.775, Perez earned a career-high 9.875, tops in the meet. Junior Natasha Sundby finished off strong with a 9.850, and ASU finished with a whopping 49.175, easily the best score in the meet.


7. ASU reigns in pageant queens

Brenda Soto presents her tiara that she was crowned with at the pageant after being named Miss Arizona Latina 2013. (Photo by Ryan Liu) (Photo by Ryan Liu)

Over the past three years, Arizona has crowned three ASU students as pageant winners.

In the Miss Arizona USA pageant that took place over the course of three days last December, nutrition communication major Jordan Wessel was crowned Miss Arizona. In 2013, civil engineering senior Brenda Soto was crowned Miss Arizona Latina, and sociology and political science senior Aysia Pennell earned the title of Miss Black Arizona 2013-14.

Wessel went into the pageant with the mindset of having a good time, win or lose.

“Believe it or not, I was never a pageant girl,” she said.



6. Chili’s near Tempe campus closes, prepares for creation of USA Place

(Photo by Andrew Ybanez) (Photo by Andrew Ybanez)

The Chili’s location at University Drive and Mill Avenue closed Jan. 8 after nearly 25 years in downtown Tempe.

ASU and USA Basketball partnered to create the $350 million dollar project “USA Place” in the lots surrounding Chili’s. The new development will serve as the headquarters of USA Basketball and include a 300,000-square-foot conference center and 4,500-seat exhibition arena.

Chili’s managing partner Nick Kretsedemas said although much of the community calls the business home, the decision was ultimately ASU’s.

5. Graduate students create First Sign Technologies, seek to prevent violent crimes

(Photo Courtesy of ) (Photo Courtesy of Rachel and Arthur Emanuele)

Created by ASU graduate student Rachel Emanuele and her husband Arthur, First Sign Technologies combines a hair clip with a sensor and a mobile app. The hair clip, which has an accelerometer, detects strikes to the head and uses Bluetooth to send signals to call for help and collect data for evidence to aid in prosecution.

4. Ray Anderson confirmed as ASU athletic director

Ray Anderson, ASU's new athletic director, is introduced by President Michael Crow at a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 9. Both said they see the transition as a new opportunity as well as a new destination for Anderson's career. (Photo by Mario Mendez) (Photo by Mario Mendez)

Ray Anderson left his position as executive vice president of football operations for the NFL, reportedly taking a significant pay cut, to be ASU’s new athletic director and University vice president, replacing interim James Rund.

3. ASU announces latest plans to renovate Sun Devil Stadium

stadium (Photo Courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics)

Through a new marketing campaign called “Momentum,” Sun Devil Athletics announced its revised plans to renovate Sun Devil Stadium.

According to the press release, the University will invest $210 million toward the renovations and is looking to raise $50 million from its new campaign. It hopes to begin renovations in 2015.

ASU will fund this campaign through private donations and revenue streams instead of taxpayer dollars, according to the press release.

2. Age is but a number: confronting 21+ concerts

(Photo by Alexis Macklin) (Photo by Alexis Macklin)

Opinion columnist Jordan Bohannon argues that concerts that have 21+ age requirements are agreeably unfair but inarguably necessary if communities do not get involved with trying to change the law that keeps those under 21 out of certain venues and shows.

"What's the answer? There is a way that Phoenix can become an environment where every show is all ages, and that starts with involvement. Change doesn't just happen, after all.

Phoenix is a robust culture where everyone needs to be involved and make choices that actively make art economically feasible in the Valley of the Sun.

Shop local, corral all of your friends to go to that weird show with you downtown and, most of all, vote for candidates who share your beliefs and who believe in Phoenix."

1. ASU Tau Kappa Epsilon's recognition revoked after MLK-themed party

(Photo by Rachel Nemeh)
After hosting a "Martin Luther King Jr." party, which involved the partygoers drinking from watermelon cups, among other activities, Tau Kappa Epsilon's recognition was permanently revoked by the University.

ASU is continuing to investigate the actions of individual TKE members and other students who attended the party. Once the investigation concludes, action will be taken under ASU and Arizona Board of Regents policies, according to a statement released by the University.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.