Michigan State University holding virtual ceremonies for fall 2020 graduates

EAST LANSING, MI — All commencement ceremonies at Michigan State University for fall 2020 graduates will be held virtually, the university announced Thursday.

More than 2,600 graduates will be recognized Dec. 18 and 19 at commencement ceremonies that will be streamed on the MSU commencement website, according to a university release. The names of graduates will be scrolled on the screens at the end of the ceremonies, the release said.

“I am incredibly proud of these students for not only completing their degrees but doing so under such difficult circumstances,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “It is fitting to have three highly accomplished alumni serving as our keynote speakers. They remind us of the impact we can have on the world as Spartans.”

Scheduling for spring 2021 commencement is currently being developed, according to the commencement website. Details will be posted in late January, according to the website.

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Worcester School Committee stands by decision to extend remote learning, will respond to letter from state education officials

Members of the Worcester School Committee on Thursday night stood by a decision to extend remote learning during the pandemic, as the district administration works to respond to a request for more information from Massachusetts education officials.

Superintendent Maureen Binienda told committee members during Thursday’s meeting that the district received a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education seeking more information about when students are expected to return to classrooms. Other districts that are using online learning models also got a letter, Binienda said.

Last month, the committee voted to push back the start of a hybrid learning model as updates to school HVAC systems were ongoing. Members had vowed to not bring back students until buildings are safe, and also noted rising coronavirus rates in the community, which continue to increase. Students with the highest level of needs are slated to return to school buildings on Jan.

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State Superintendent Michael Rice orders replacement of GISD special education funding formula

GENESEE COUNTY, MI — State Superintendent Michael Rice has ruled the formula used to funnel some special education dollars through the Genesee Intermediate School District to local districts does not meet legal requirements.

In a Nov. 24 ruling, Rice ordered that the current formula be immediately replaced with one that is more equitable.

Under the previous formula, the GISD Mandatory Plan appropriates $3.8 million of Act 18 special education funds back to local districts based on a three-part formula:

-Total special education headcount

-Full-time-equivalent (FTE) special education student head count

-Total FTE headcount

FTE head count is adjusted for part-time student numbers. These three factors are currently equally weighted.

The formula did not accommodate Flint Community Schools’ declining enrollment and unique circumstances created by the water crisis, Rice ruled.

Flint schools had a total student count of 7,207 in 2013, the year the formula was last modified.

This year, enrollment

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San Diego State University Standardizes on Sony’s New MAS-A100 IP Beamforming Microphone

PARAMUS, N.J., Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — San Diego State University recently installed 68 of Sony’s MAS-A100 beamforming ceiling microphones, with future plans to implement more than 100 additional units.  As their main campus and Imperial Valley campus transition to a hybrid classroom model, mixing in-person and distance education, the IP-enabled MAS-A100 has become a key component in building their classrooms of the future.

Designed for a range of lecture and presentation environments, the MAS-A100 beamforming microphone offers advanced clear audio for speech reinforcement with an Intelligent Feedback Reducer function, which can extract speech while suppressing unwanted feedback.  The easy to install microphone minimizes ambient noise, offers automatic gain control and has a dual-channel output for simultaneous recording that captures instructor’s and students’ voices.  It is compatible with third party Dante® mixers, converters and other devices, as well as power over Ethernet (PoE).  A single cable can connect it

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What is more important to Ohio State fans: The Game or the College Football Playoff?

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football fans cannot imagine a season that does not end with The Game against Michigan.

They also don’t want to consider the consequences of a season without a trip to the College Football Playoff.

The coronavirus pandemic remains a threat to both. The Buckeyes’ own COVID-19 outbreak appears to be under control enough for Ohio State to return to the field on Saturday. But Michigan is on pause due to its own increase in cases, and much remains uncertain about the closing weeks of the season.

Could the Big Ten change its minimum games requirement for playing in the league championship game? Would it consider altering its schedule next week to ensure Ohio State another game if the Wolverines need to cancel? What about reconsidering the amount of times players who tested positive must remain out of competition?

We delved into all of those questions

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College football picks, predictions, odds for Week 14: Ohio State vs. Michigan State among the best bets


This season is unlike anything we have ever experienced. Computer simulations — if that’s your thing — mean nothing with only a smattering of nonconference games between FBS schools scheduled and four of the leagues not playing any at all. Nevertheless, we’ve been working with our resources.

Each week, I use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I also throw in an upset of the week, which will feature a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright. I also give you picks on other games involving teams in College Football Playoff contention.

Last week I was 3-0 on the picks, and the upset special covered as well but lost outright. The picks are 13-13 for the season. The upset missed, so those picks are now 4-5 outright and 6-3

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Oregon State University COVID-19 tracing program going national

The project started in April with the goal of finding out how prevalent the virus is in communities.

CORVALLIS, Ore. — A first-of-its-kind COVID-19 tracking program that started at Oregon State University (OSU) is going national.

Last April, OSU researchers began randomly testing communities for COVID-19. Their goal was to find out how prevalent the virus was. The researchers teamed up with health care workers and went to door to door at random offering up free COVID-19 tests. Their goal was to test even those carriers with no symptoms and to estimate how many people in the community were infected. The project was named TRACE COVID-19.

“The number of people infected is a key metric and it’s a key driver of the epidemic,” said project leader Ben Dalziel. “As an infectious disease, the number of people who are infected now plays a big role in determining how many people will

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College Football Playoff rankings: Ohio State still No. 4 in after cancellation; USC drops to No. 20

Ohio State held on to the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night after having its previous game canceled, landing behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Clemson for a second straight week.

The selection committee’s top seven teams were unchanged from last week’s rankings after the playoff contenders either won comfortably or didn’t play because of COVID-19 issues.

Texas A&M (6-1) was in fifth and Florida (7-1) sixth.

Ohio State (4-0) had to cancel its game at Illinois last week because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in the program. It was the second game of the season the Buckeyes have missed out on. One more cancellation would leave them ineligible for the Big Ten championship game and unable to play more than six regular-season games.

No. 7 Cincinnati (8-0) also had its last game canceled. The Bearcats are next scheduled

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San Diego State University sued in the death of fraternity pledge Dylan Hernandez

The father of Dylan Hernandez, the San Diego State University freshmen who died following a night of heavy drinking at Phi Gamma Delta, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court that accuses the school of negligence.

a person standing in front of a building: Dylan Hernandez died following a night of drinking at an SDSU fraternity (Courtesy of the Hernandez family)

© (Courtesy of Hernandez family)
Dylan Hernandez died following a night of drinking at an SDSU fraternity (Courtesy of the Hernandez family)

The lawsuit names nearly 20 other defendants, including SDSU; the school’s president, Adela de La Torre; the California State University system; the fraternity Hernandez was joining; individual fraternity members, and the company that made Hernandez’s dorm bed.


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In November 2019 Hernandez, a 19 year-old Floridan, returned to his dorm after drinking at Phi Gamma Delta and later fell out of the bunk bed, cracking his head in what turned out to be a fatal injury.

The lawsuit alleges that the accident followed a night of

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Is Michigan really gearing up to take a dive so Ohio State can’t make the College Football Playoff? | This is the Loop

Something fishy is brewing over in the Big Ten. On Tuesday night, during ESPN’s weekly College Football Playoff rankings show, former Ohio State Buckeyes signal caller Kirk Herbstreit casually floated this little theory mid-conversation . . .

Nothing in the world of COVID and college football is casual, however, and soon the statement spread like wildfire. Herbie, being the pro’s pro that he is, quickly took to Twitter to douse the flames, but the seed was planted.

Then Wednesday afternoon, right on schedule, Michigan announced it would be pausing football activities due to COVID-19 “concerns” ahead of Saturday’s game against Maryland. Suddenly Herbie’s words came rushing back. Does he know something we don’t? Michigan wouldn’t really . . . would they?

What we’re talking about here would be unprecedented. Taking a dive. Throwing the game. Waving the white flag. The Buckeyes, who have already had games against Maryland and Illinois

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