<![CDATA[The State News]]> Sat, 22 Jan 2022 03:28:15 -0500 Sat, 22 Jan 2022 03:28:15 -0500 SNworks CEO 2022 The State News <![CDATA[FINAL: Michigan State hockey drops fifth straight in 4-1 loss to Ohio State]]> Ohio State handed Michigan State its fifth straight loss of the season, skating away with a 4-1 road victory. The Spartans have yet to secure a win in 2022. 

Ohio State dominated the first period, out-shooting the Spartans 16 to three and out-possessing the Spartans. 

However, it was Michigan State that found the back of the net first. Making a rare appearance on the top line, freshman forward Tanner Kelly scored his second goal of the season, tipping in a slap-shot from senior defenseman Cole Krygier at the front of the net. 

The Spartans could not capitalize on the momentum, as a high-sticking penalty on senior defenseman Christian Krygier gave the Buckeyes their first power play attempt of the game. MSU was unphased, completely stifling OSU's man advantage. Junior forward Jagger Joshua was especially strong on the unit, forechecking aggressively and keeping possession from the Buckeyes. 

The penalty kill went back to work a few minutes later after a tripping call on sophomore defenseman Aiden Gallacher. Ohio State applied significantly more pressure on this power play, but again, they could not convert. 

An odd goal from the Buckeyes tied things up just after the man advantage expired. Ohio State junior forward Tate Singleton blitzed the net on a breakaway and tossed a backhander top-shelf. The puck was lodged at the top of the net and everyone in Munn scrambled to find it. A subsequent review discovered the sneaky shot and gave the Buckeyes the tying goal. 

Michigan State got its first power play of the game 4:11 into the second period. MSU had some solid movement, but Ohio State clogged up any potential scoring opportunities and kept the game knotted up.

Ohio State gave MSU an extended power play seconds later. OSU's junior defenseman James Marooney checked junior forward Josh Nodler from behind, sending the junior forward headfirst into the boards. Marooney received a major and a game misconduct for his actions, sending the Spartans to a five minute power play.  

The unit had trouble keeping the puck in the offensive zone, as the Buckeyes continuously cleared the puck. Spending a majority of the power play trying to enter Ohio State's zone and reset the offense, the Spartans could not apply any significant pressure. They failed to cash in and the game remained tied at 1-1. 

With just under four minutes left in the period, a missed assignment had Buckeyes freshman forward Cam Thiesing naked at the front of the net. Thiesing zipped it past senior goaltender Drew DeRidder, giving Ohio State a 2-1 lead. 

An interference penalty from senior forward Adam Goodsir gave the Buckeyes a chance to extend the lead on the man advantage. A few miscues and poor shots doomed OSU's power play, as Michigan State's penalty kill continued its solid night. 

The two teams traded offensive possession in the opening minutes of the third period. After some of the best offensive possession of the night for Michigan State, Ohio State went to the other end of the ice and put the dagger in with a two-on-one goal. 

Ohio State iced the win with an empty netter with just over a minute left in the period. 

Michigan State hosts Ohio State for game two of the series tomorrow night. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised via BTN Plus.

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Sophomore left wing Jagger Joshua (23) fights to regain possession of the puck against Ohio State in the first period. The Spartans fell to the Buckeyes, 1-5, at Munn Ice Arena on Jan. 23, 2020.

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<![CDATA[Olaf gives us a cold open on what's to come with Frozen at the Wharton Center]]> From January 26 to February 6, the Wharton Center is about to get cooler with the arrival of the national Broadway tour of Frozen skating into town. Beloved Disney characters like Anna, Elsa and Olaf will be taking center stage together to tell the story in a new and exciting way unlike ever before.

While the story may center around the two sisters solving the everlasting winter in their kingdom, the rising star of the show with both comedic relief and emotional pinpoints of the show is Olaf, the sentient snowman learning how to navigate this new life and helping the girls along the way.

F. Michael Haynie has been playing this role with the cast since 2019, bringing life to the lovable character. They have been in many Broadway shows such as Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Holler If You Hear Me, but Haynie believes that this role is unique to any others.

"My Broadway debut was in Wicked and that was an absolutely thrilling, gigantic musical to join," Haynie said. "But there had been 11 other actors who played Bach before I joined, but with this, there was the one. There was Josh Gad having played and originated the voice of Olaf, and he's still famously the voice of Olaf."

Haynie explained while they were intimidated by the idea of joining a giant corporation show like Frozen due to the fear of being made to be the carbon copy of the originators of the beloved character, they were able to create the character they wanted to portray and give their personal take.

"My Olaf is a psychopath," Haynie said. "He is scared of everything. He is in love with everything. He lives absolutely every moment as if it's the first time he's ever felt emotion. He feels emotion at the top version of every emotion because he's just new to this world."

While their personal take of Olaf is brand new, Haynie explained that there is nothing like being able to breach that 55 minute wait in the show for this character to appear and breathe life into the character that the audience may have idolized.

"Sometimes when I walk out with that puppet, they'll start clapping … not for some famous Broadway star but instead the star is the weight of Olaf the character," Haynie said.

While Haynie would love to admit that breaking into In Summer and blowing the audiences away with a full musical number at the top of their character's arc is their favorite part of the show, they value the cast more than the spotlight.

"My favorite part of performing Frozen is the actors I get to work with," Haynie said. "It is an absolute pleasure to get to do this with these people because these people and I have been through experiences that I had never been through with a cast. I have never been with a cast this long. I get to work with actors and human beings that I trust."

Another part of the show Haynie loves to embrace the uniqueness of is the concept of their character: Haynie stands behind a puppet of the snowman and controls the character, never being able to interact with the other characters as they would in any other show.

"It's like I get to be a proud parent of this young being coming into the world and getting to…watch my friends and loved ones watch Olaf grow," Haynie said.

Haynie was taught the art of puppetry by the masters of the field during production and learned to synthesize their acting into the puppet. While Haynie described this as an out of body experience, they also appreciate the realness this adds to the fictional character.

"If everyone acted like he was a puppet, it wouldn't be a thing," Haynie said. "People look at him and see him, laugh at his jokes, and take to heart the things that he says."

However, Haynie has had a lot of experience in children's theater, more than they had ever expected. They claim that with this art form comes a large responsibility ask of the actors on the stage portraying a story for young people.

"Young audiences who are seeing their first show are discovering what they think of live performance," Haynie said. "They're discovering what they think about the world. We're teaching them all sorts of things without them necessarily knowing their learning."

While Haynie is playing a silly character, they believe that even the buffoonery of Olaf can have a large impact. From shows like Frozen, children are accidentally learning about sympathy, kindness and empathy, which are also the largest themes to which Haynie points out in the show. They also explain the importance of the role of love in the show.

"It is a lot about what love costs," Haynie said. "Love is not free or guaranteed just because of being related or because you're supposed to love someone or because it makes sense to love someone. You see so many people in the show giving their love finally and giving their love without reservation…and that it costs something when it's betrayed."

Haynie emphasizes that with these prevalent themes that drive Frozen, the story is beautiful and one to be told over and over again, especially in new ways such as live performance.

Whether the audience member is a beginner in the Disney world or have seen the original over a thousand times, the story is sure to still move audiences, finding them charmed by the story yet again in the new medium.

"When you come to Frozen, you are going to hear some of the songs that you know from the world franchise that is Frozen, you are going to hear some brand new things that were added in the Broadway production…you will see remarkable costumes and wigs, amazing performers, and singers, and dancers, and actors. You will see Frozen like you've never seen it before," Haynie said.

F. Michael Haynie, and Olaf, are excited to ring in the winter with a new classic, bringing the Wharton Center into a winter wonderland.









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<![CDATA[Body found in Red Cedar River believed to be Brendan Santo]]> On Jan. 21, a body believed to be missing Grand Valley State University student Brendan Santo was found in the Red Cedar River after a search effort beginning at 1 a.m.

Michigan State University Police and Public Safety found a body in the Red Cedar River at 12:30 p.m. in Lansing, 1.5 miles downriver of where Santo was last seen. Identification of the body is pending, but the body is believed to be that of Santo.

"The Santo family has been informed and we are providing them with as much information and support as possible during this difficult time," a Jan. 21 MSUPD news release said. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Santo family and all those who knew Brendan."

MSUPD confirmed they have no reason to believe foul play is involved or that Santo intended to harm himself.

However, the details and circumstances surrounding the incident will continue to be investigated by MSUPD and its law enforcement partners.

The search for Santo has lasted over 80 days after he was last seen Oct. 29, 2021, leaving Yakeley Hall.

"The discovery was made possible as part of a collaborative effort between law enforcement and other partner resources," the news release said.

MSUPD worked with East Lansing Police Department, Grand Valley State University Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff's Office, Michigan Department of Attorney General, Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff's Office and the FBI during the investigation.

Michigan State University Police and Public Safety expanded its partnerships with local, state and federal agencies to assist with the investigation. Oakland County and Grand Valley State University agencies assisted the investigation.

In an email, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. thanked those who participated in search efforts over the past months.

"We want to thank everyone who has contributed in some way to the search efforts to date, including our campus partners, the volunteers who posted flyers across our community and joined the search efforts with us and the Santo family, and every law enforcement agency who dedicated time and resources to bring Brendan home," Stanley said. "This entire effort was a collaboration between many law enforcement groups, the family and their resources and countless volunteers."

For resources, the MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services, or CAPS, is available 24/7 by calling 517-355-8270. The MSU Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, is also available by calling 517-355-4506.

Students at Grand Valley State University can also contact their University Counseling Center at 616-331-3266.

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Dive team members were sent out to search the Red Cedar River for the search for Brendan Santo at the Jenison Fieldhouse on Dec. 2, 2021.

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<![CDATA[MSU to return to in-person learning on Jan. 31]]> An email from MSU's administration confirmed students can return to in-person learning on Jan. 31. This announcement followed three weeks of online classes at the beginning of the spring semester. 

"With our continued mask mandate, high vaccination rates and most students and faculty boosted, we believe we are well-positioned to resume in-person classes Monday, Jan. 31, as planned," the email said.

Students, staff and faculty are required to submit verification of COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters. The booster verification form will open on Jan. 26 and is due Feb. 1. Those seeking limited medical and religious vaccine exemptions, or online-only exemptions can do so through the verification form. 

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. announced at the faculty senate meeting on Jan. 18 the vaccine requirements and mask mandate kept MSU on track to resume in-person learning, but campus and statewide cases will continue to be monitored.

"The pandemic has been challenging for all of us, there's a high level of frustration, but there will be better days ahead," Stanley said at the meeting.

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Predominantly freshman course "Creative Thinking" being held in Michigan State's Natural Resources building on Sept. 7, 2021.

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<![CDATA[Preview: Michigan State men's hoops hits the road for contest against No. 8 Wisconsin ]]> After dropping their first Big Ten game to Northwestern, Michigan State men's basketball is hitting the road for their matchup against No. 8 Wisconsin. 

In the wake of a supposedly unsurprising performance that saw turnovers once again spike Michigan State's odds and an offensive rebounding deficit that remained troubling, Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo remained optimistic regarding his team's potential. 

"When you have a bad day, you look at it, kind of figure out what you can do," Izzo said. "And a lot of times you can't fix it. These are fixable. It's just that they got to be fixed." 

The Spartans (14-3, 5-1) have had to do a bit of soul-searching to get back to the brand of basketball that's defined the program in Izzo's 26 seasons at the helm. In that vein, Izzo said his team focused on the aforementioned sore spots in practice while sophomore guard A.J. Hoggard and senior center Marcus Bingham Jr. both said the team committed to going harder in practice to maximize their potential. 

For his part, Hoggard noted the loss as a "humble piece of pie" needed every now and then while Bingham said his missed free throws to close out the game against Northwestern have given him all the more incentive to bring greater energy into their upcoming contest against Wisconsin. 

"It fires me up a lot to go out there and play hard for my team," Bingham said. "As a team, I think we're going to be ready on Friday." 

Scouting the opponent

Izzo cited Wisconsin (15-2, 6-1) as one of the "hottest teams" in the Big Ten and their recent run of form certainly backs it up. With seven wins in a row, either by upsetting league favorites like Purdue or simply taking care of business against Northwestern, they've tied Illinois for the conference lead. A shocking jump after being picked to finish as low as tenth in the league this preseason. 

Izzo was quick to point out some of the statistics that illustrate Wisconsin as a team, starting with their shooting. According to KenPom, their effective field goal percentage is 49.2% while their regular shooting percentage is a more pedestrian 42.5%, a trend Izzo found "odd" considering how well they've played. 

There were more positive notes. As a team, Izzo noted the Badgers rarely turn it over (only on 10.8% of offensive possessions, good for second in the country behind Iowa). Further, he said they generally don't make a "whole lot of mistakes" and are flush with players who serve their roles well.

The numbers-and the supporting cast-fail to tell the whole story, however. 

It's impossible to mention Wisconsin basketball this season without mentioning sophomore guard Johnny Davis. Averaging 22.1 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game, he was named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason shortlist and is rising up NBA Draft boards, a testament to how he's become a "household name" to Izzo. 

Davis, found more with the ball than not, thrives in Wisconsin's fabled swing offense, predicated on spacing and movement. Fast, crafty and untraceable to his spot, few guards in college basketball have given defenses more fits this year than the sophomore when he's either working within the Badgers' system or freelancing in the half-court.

Davis is joined in the backcourt by Badger mainstay and fifth-year guard Brad Davison (15.1 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game). Davison is far from a secret to Michigan State fans but Izzo gave him credit as a "key guy" for Wisconsin who shows versatility with his post work and three point shooting (35% from deep in 2021-22). 

Freshman guard Chucky Hepburn is the de-facto floor general for the Badgers, picking and choosing when to push it down the court and when to ease up. Davis has rightfully received much of the attention from opposing defenses but Hepburn has had some success as a scorer this season, most recently with 14 points in their last game against Northwestern. 

From there, junior forward Tyler Wahl (11 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 1.1 blocks per game) has consistently been Wisconsin's third option this year. Izzo said Wahl's the "x-factor" for the Badgers and a due source of their success on the court this season. Wisconsin's front-court is also bolstered by a pair of seven footers in junior forward Steven Crowl and senior center Chris Vogt. 

The game marks a homecoming of sorts for redshirt senior Joey Hauser, a native of Stevens Point, Wisconsin and a former player in the Marquette-Wisconsin rivalry. Hauser dropped 27 points with seven rebounds in Michigan State's last matchup against the Badgers on Dec. 25, 2020, one of his single best performances in green and white. 

Hauser said he's looking forward to seeing some of his family and friends from his home state while focused on getting Michigan State back on the winning side. As for Izzo? He said Kohl Center should be a good environment to play in due to the excitement of the crowd. 

"I'm sure it'll be Fourth of July and Christmas when we get over there (for the) Friday night game in Madison, Wisconsin," Izzo said.

Wisconsin hosts Michigan State on Friday night at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcast on FS1.

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Then-senior guard Cassius Winston (5) during the basketball game against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin on Feb. 1, 2020. The Spartans fell to the Badgers 63-64.

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<![CDATA[First spring semester ASMSU GA meeting returns virtually ]]> Staying consistent with MSU's announcement for three weeks of remote learning, the Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, held their first spring semester general assembly, or GA, meeting virtually on Jan. 20.

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. attended the meeting to answer questions from the GA. Questions ranged from COVID-19 and vaccine booster concerns within students to plans to increase campus safety.

In total nine bills were introduced with six bills passed, Bill 58-39 rescinded, Bill 58-49 was tabled for the next GA meeting and Bill 58-55 did not pass.

Bill 58-54

Passed unanimously, Bill 58-54 introduced two students to be appointed to the GA: Udai Singh representing the Eli Broad College of Business and Annie Dudley representing the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"I look forward to seeing what these two qualified candidates can do on the GA," Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator Gavyn Webb said.

Bill 58-42

This bill advocates for base increases in Michigan appropriations as well as lowering of the tuition increase limit from 4.2% to 4%.

Bill 58-42 was introduced by College of Education Rep. Ella Woehlke and seconded by College of Social Science Rep. Julian Treviño and was passed unanimously.

Bill 58-39

Bill 58-39 was written to donate $3,000 to East Lansing Info, or ELi.

ELi is a nonprofit and citizen-run local news cooperative that has collaborated with ASMSU in the past.

"They have been advocating for journalism, especially for the East Lansing community, which directly also impacts students here," College of Engineering Rep. Daniyal Dar said.

The bill received backlash from several GA members including North American Indigenous Student Organization Rep. Gabriel Gurule with concerns about an individual's behaviors from ELi in previous committee meetings.

"The proposal is giving money to an organization whose executive director and publisher is transphobic," Resident Hall Association Rep. Belle Letcher said. "I would love if we could continue working with ELi and perhaps withhold this money and say, 'Please get rid of [Alice] Dreger,' and then we'd love to work with you."

Student Housing Cooperative, or SHC, Rep. Sky Stillwell echoed similar concerns and plans on going to the Board of Directors to advocate for the removal of Dreger.

6:20 "I cannot vote yes on this donation because of the actions of their executive director and her treatment towards the members within the SHC," Stillwell said. "She is slanderous against the Co-op, she calls us "druggies" on Twitter and it's just not something I'm comfortable with donating our money to."

Dar motioned to rescind the bill which was ultimately rescinded.

Bill 58-50

Introduced by Stillwell, Bill 58-50 amended the ASMSU Constitution to change "Student Housing Cooperative" to "Spartan Housing Cooperative" to stay up to date with the names of the Council of Racial and Ethnic Students, or CORES, and Council of Progressive Students, or COPS, groups.

Bill 58-50 unanimously passed.

Bill 58-51

This bill advocates for faculty to suspend assignment due dates for 48 hours after any university sanctioned break and passed unanimously. The two-day delay is expected to include exams as well.

Proposed by College of Veterinary Medicine Rep. Travis Boling, the resolution was adjusted from ""Wellness Days" or Fall Break"" to "any University Sanctioned Breaks."

"I have spoken to many different students and surveyed hundreds of students on this very issue," James Madison College Rep. Shaurya Pandya said. 0:34 "I have spoken to the associate provost about this issue, I've spoken to the associate dean of James [Madison] on this issue and they both agree with this kind of proposition."

Bill 58-52

Vice President for Internal Administration Jordan Kovach introduced Bill 58-52 to ratify the Class Council Codes of Operation which passed.

"COVID happened and everything went really crazy and so it was never fully codified to accept them, but we've been operating under them," Kovach said.

Bill 58-53

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Junior and Sophomore Class Councils struggled with membership, therefore they were combined.

This bill, also introduced by Kovach, was written to ratify the amended Sophomore/Junior Class Council Code of Operation for the rest of the 58th session.

Bill 58-53 unanimously passed.

Bill 58-55

Bill 58-55 advocates for in-person class options for at least 51% of all classes after Jan. 31.

The bill also advocates for the administration to loosen attendance policies for students with a positive test for COVID-19 for up to two weeks so they're not taken away from unexcused or excused absences.

"There are definitely a handful too that wanted in-person classes, but you know, I also understand that we have people who want to be online, who feel safer in classes that are immunocompromised, and I think it's important too that we accommodate them." College of Communication Arts and Sciences Rep. Jack Harrison said.

From Stanley's discussion earlier in the meeting, he explained that MSU plans to return to in-person classes after Jan. 31. As a result, College of Business Rep. Kevin Kraef didn't see a need to advance on this bill.

"I think that it would be relatively, dare I say, irresponsible to advocate for something when we don't know if there could be changes to something in the future if there could be another variant," Kraef said. "I don't see why we should continue to advocate for this and try to see the majority of classes be in person when so many developments could happen."

Gurule agreed with Kraef and noted that the increase of the attendance policy to two weeks for students with a positive COVID-19 test is inconsistent with the current Center of Disease Control's guidance.

Pandya said that if COVID-19 policies change greatly to be more restricting, the bill would be nullified. 

Lyman Briggs College Rep. Zaaki Mandwee supported the bill saying that a written resolution would be helpful for the University administration to keep their word.

"I think the idea that President Stanley has the best medical perspective on this whole scenario is also a point that should be recognized as not accurate because there are many, many doctors who have stated that being in the classroom does not spread COVID so there's many conflicting ideas about this whole staying in the classroom or going online," Mandwee said.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Aarron Iturralde clarified that Stanley is advised by experts in the medical field and has an M.D. in infectious diseases. However, as decided by the Board of Trustees last summer, the modality changes are solely decided by President Stanley.

Alliance for Queer and Allied Students Rep. Cameron Lochrie also said that their constituents received mixed responses from students and believed that the bill didn't represent the student body's opinion.

With a motion to table the bill to the Academic Committee by College of Arts and Letters Rep. Carl Austin Miller Grondin, it was rescinded and instead decided to vote during the meeting because it was a time-sensitive issue.

With a roll call vote through raising of hands in Zoom, the bill did not pass.

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Associated Students of Michigan State University holds the first spring semester general assembly meeting virtually on Jan. 20

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<![CDATA[Petition to dam the river in search of missing Brendan Santo gains traction ]]> On Jan.18, a petition on Change.org was created by Daniel O. to dam the Red Cedar River in the search for missing Grand Valley State University student Brendan Santo. 

"Brendan Santo has been missing since October 29. 2021," the petition's description states. "His last known location apparently was near the Red Cedar River on MSU campus. The river is dangerous for divers to search due to debris. I urge an immediate temporary damming of the river. This way the search can proceed safely and can either find Brendan Santo or rule out his being there. The water can be diverted to a pond or holding tank with minimal flooding risk. Cut the red tape and dam the river." 

In 24 hours, the petition reached over 4,500 signatures. 

Michigan State University Police and Public Safety expanded its partnerships with local, state and federal agencies to assist with the investigation. Oakland County and Grand Valley State University agencies are assisting the investigation.

In addition, multiple K9 teams were used early in the investigation, including cadaver dogs. 

Combined with Santo's digital footprint, investigators continue their focus on the Red Cedar River. 

"Our investigators have been diligent in this investigation," Rozman said in an email. "They've interviewed everyone who last had contact or spoke with Brendan, and they've reviewed surveillance cameras. They've also utilized advanced investigative techniques. They've reviewed cellular telephone data, smartphone data, GPS data."

MSUPD is working with East Lansing Police Department, Grand Valley State University Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff's Office, Michigan Department of Attorney General, Michigan State Police, Oakland County Sheriff's Office and the FBI.

Santo was last seen on Oct. 29, 2021, leaving Yakeley Hall shortly before midnight. It is possible Santo planned to walk approximately a half-mile to the Brody Neighborhood, according to a Nov. 1 MSUPD news release.

Yakeley Hall is located on the north end of MSU's campus, near Michigan Avenue and Grand River Avenue.

In a Jan. 7 Instagram post, Santo was said to have made it farther down Michigan Avenue, crossing back farther down from Beal Street and towards Brody. 

Santo was not a student at MSU and was visiting friends. However, there is no indication he left the East Lansing area. Santo's vehicle was left in the last location it was parked.

He was last seen wearing gray sweatpants, a black T-shirt, a black baseball hat and Converse shoes. Santo is five feet, 10 inches and 160 lbs.

Investigators have used sonar, canines and other underwater technology as part of the river search to identify areas of interest in the water.

"The water search is complex and challenging and remains ongoing," Rozman said in the email. 

Areas of interest have been searched with divers. However, it's not possible to search the entire river with divers. 

"Challenges of searching the river are the current, depth, visibility, obstacles present, as well as other underwater entanglement hazards," Rozman said in the email.

MSUPD has consulted with engineers and water experts to determine the search operations' next steps. Search efforts have since moved downriver to the west, with professional and volunteer search teams.

In November, MSUPD contacted the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Water Resources Division, or EGLE, regarding damming the river to assist in their search. 

"We were informed that we would need to have a permit from the state to do so, in addition to hiring a private contractor," MSUPD spokesperson Dana Whyte said.

However, it would not be possible to dam the entire river, she said. 

"EGLE provided us with companies to contact and we were informed that due to the characteristics of the Red Cedar River such as the current, depth, and visibility … it could be possible to do a partial dam if there was a very specific area to concentrate on," Whyte said in a Jan. 19 email to The State News.

At this point, MSUPD doesn't have a definitive area of interest in the river. 

"We continue to walk the river banks and search as resources are available," Whyte said. "If we do identify any particular areas in the future, we will reassess the option of damming that specific portion of the river." 

A dinner and silent auction are planned for Feb. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Rochester Adams High School to raise awareness for Santo. 

The State Flyer Challenge is also raising awareness by spreading flyers in all 50 states. In addition, the College Flyer Challenge aims to have flyers in all Michigan colleges. 

At this point, there are flyers in every state and in Canada. Out of the 88 listed Michigan colleges, 25% have flyers. 

The Bring Brendan Santo Home Facebook group has reached over 45,000 members, with members in 12 other countries. 

"Our family started the Bring Brendan Santo Home Facebook as soon as we found out he was missing. We knew we needed to raise awareness," Dawn Brewer, Santo's aunt, said. "Our family continues to be overwhelmed by their support and dedication. ... We have started to raise awareness for other missing people."

Since Nov. 9, the GoFundMe organized by Melissa Corsi for Santo's family has collected more than $120,000 in donations.

The funds will be used to hire private entities to help increase search efforts, print flyers, help with family costs incurred due to absence from work and traveling between East Lansing and home, feed volunteers and notify additional publications to get the word out about Santo, including billboard signs.

"We are in constant contact with the Santo family and are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time," Rozman said in the email. "It's important that when we do our jobs, we always carry a level of hope and not make any assumptions. We are doing everything we can to find Brendan."

If you have any information, call MSUPD toll-free at 844-99-MSUPD or email tips@police.msu.edu. You can also contact Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan at 517-483-STOP.

The reward managed by Crime Stoppers of Mid-Michigan through MSUPD's toll-free tip line and tip email has increased from $20,000 to $30,000. 

"People do not just vanish," Brewer said in a statement. "Our family will remain hopeful that we will find Brendan and bring him home." 

For resources, the MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services, or CAPS, is available 24/7 by calling 517-355-8270. The MSU Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, is also available by calling 517-355-4506.

Students at Grand Valley State University can also contact their University Counseling Center at 616-331-3266.



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Flyer for the search of missing Grand Valley State University student, Brendan Santo.

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<![CDATA[Orchesis Dance Company returns to the stage with winter show, 'Redivivus']]> When human biology senior and Orchesis Dance Company executive director Katie Heise walks into the Orchesis studio in IM Circle's basement, the 8:45 p.m. practice time is not what she is thinking about. That would be her excitement to do the thing she loves, dance, with the people she loves.

Orchesis, a dance company composed of MSU students of various grades and skill levels, is having their winter show this Friday through Sunday in the MSU auditorium. Just a few nights ago, the dancers got a chance to see all the performances before their big weekend.

"Seeing it on the stage for the first time yesterday with all the lights and everything coming together, it was the greatest time of the semester," marketing junior Sloan Lemberg said. "Just because you almost become blind to it after a bit when you see the same dance over and over again, you can't really see it for what it is, but then I really looked at it and took a step back, and I was just so proud of my dancers."

The auditorium will be set up like a black box theater, which means that the audience will be sitting on all four sides of the stage, adding a unique element to the show.

"For the choreographers, it's a big challenge for them to have to think about not only are we performing to the front, but we're performing to the back and the left and the right," Heise said. "We don't want just the technical front to be getting the show. It's cool because if you sit at any angle, you'll catch something different going on in the dance."

"Redivivus" is the name of this show. It means "the act of something coming back to life; being reborn." This show, following almost two years of being unable to perform live due to COVID-19, symbolizes the rebirth of dance to these dancers.

"I think that the arts community is going to see a huge sense of rebirth and growth over this next year after being isolated," human biology senior Kathryne Rojeck said. "I think that a lot of art has come from that. Our show doesn't necessarily show the ideas of pandemic, but it shows the idea of being back together."

The arts have taken a huge hit in the past couple years due to the pandemic, but Orchesis dancers ensured the show went on by virtually performing their dances. With that being said, they are all overjoyed to be performing traditionally once again.

"Nothing ever will match the energy of the stage," Lemberg said.

The poster used to advertise the show was made by Lemberg and arts and humanities senior Jake Price, who is Orchesis' vice executive director. They drew inspiration from TV Girl's "French Exit" album cover as well as "Redivivus."

"We just wanted to do something really warm and kind of retro, and really welcoming and unifying because this is our first performance in two years," Price said. "I kind of came up with the idea of the speech on the show posters, the "come together again."... I like the idea of coming together again with our audience and with the people who always come to see Orchesis shows."

Price choreographed one of the nine dances that will be performed at this weekend's show. He explained that it was the darkest, yet comedic dance in the whole show.

"There's moments where my dancers audibly laugh at the audience," Price said. "It's kind of a critique on audience and performer relationship… I feel that the audience can take away that even during dark times or when you're having dark thoughts, you can still find a way to laugh."

Although most of the dances do not explicitly convey messages of the pandemic, one choreographed by Alyssa Dickerson does.

"It's called 'Recuperation,'" Rojeck said. "She uses audio from the news during the pandemic, and her dancers are dancing within a bubble."

Orchesis dancers have been working on this show since the start of fall semester. Auditions were held at the beginning of the semester, and hour and a half rehearsals took place one night a week for most dances. 

Residences, or dances choreographed by professional guest choreographers, however, are a whole other story. For these, dancers are taught and fully learn the dance all in the span of a week. 

"It's pretty crazy," packaging and experienced architect junior Lauren Kurzawa said. "It's like you go in for rehearsal each day, four hours, super intense. The piece gets thrown at you, but it's so fun. It's so challenging. And then we kind of just hope that our rehearsal time works, and if it doesn't, then you come, you come to technique and pressures on. You got to pull it together by Friday for the show."

What makes Orchesis different from other dance companies is that its dancers come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have competitive dance experience, while others have theater experience. 

"It's really interesting to see everyone come together with their different experiences and backgrounds and see how we can all utilize our strengths to put on a show," Kurzawa said.

Many dancers cite tech week, which is the week before a performance, as the best time of the semester because not only do they get to interact with one another, but they get to bond at a whole new level as they are in the studio dancing for hours a night.

"I feel like everyone is so much closer as a whole [by the end of tech week] because we've just been together so much longer," environmental studies junior Emilee Csom said.

Although the dancers are proud and looking forward to showcasing their hard work, it is bittersweet. 

"I can imagine in our closing show, I'm just going to be so proud of everything we did because everybody is pushing full force," Lemberg said. "There's nobody that's not into this. Every single person in that room is excited and ready to dance, and I think that's so special."

Orchesis' "Redivivus" winter show will be taking place at the MSU auditorium on Jan. 21 at 7 pm, Jan. 22 at 2 pm and 7 pm and Jan. 23 at 2 pm. Tickets will be available for $10 at the door. To view the show virtually, fill out this form: https://forms.gle/7KMbdCAxMuceeJ2GA

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<![CDATA[Motor vehicle accident leaves 1 dead, stolen vehicle]]> East Lansing Police Department responded to a "Check Subject/Subject in the Roadway" in a roadway call at 5:15 a.m. on Jan. 18 on West Road near Abbey Road.

Officers determined a motor vehicle hit an individual while traveling southbound on West Road.

In a Jan. 20 email to the State News, ELPD Lieutenant Chad Price confirmed the pedestrian has died after the accident.

The pedestrian has been identified as Michael Wayne Son Jr., 38, from East Lansing. In addition, the driver was not at fault, Price confirmed.

After further investigation, officers determined Son's vehicle was allegedly taken by an unknown suspect. The vehicle is a gray Dodge RAM 1500 four-door pickup truck.

The vehicle is owned by Son's father. However, it is unknown who took the truck.

The vehicle has since been located near State and Chandler Road.

"We are still investigating the person of interest that was in the pickup truck," Price said in the email.

It is unknown if the two incidents are related. This is currently under investigation.

If you have any information about this incident, please contact ELPD Sgt. Adam Park at 517-319-6834 or apark@elpolice.com.



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The East Lansing Police Department is pictured on July 6, 2017.

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<![CDATA[MSU gymnastics looks to build on early season energy]]> The excitement is high as Michigan State gymnastics makes its comeback for the 2022 season. After a year at rest due to the COVID-19, the team has come back stronger than ever as one unit and support system.

Performing at a high level early on has earned the Spartans a No.15 ranking that shows there was no need to knock the rust off.

One aspect of MSU's gymnastics program that sets it apart from others is its sense of community and unity with one another. This is portrayed by the team, coaching staff, families and fans.

"We've got a very talented bunch of kids that are very excited," MSU gymnastics Head Coach Mike Rowe said. "They bonded really well and got tons of energy and they're crazier than anything, but it's a pleasure to coach them and we have a lot of fun."

After each Spartan performs, their entire team and coaching staff rush to exchange hugs and high-fives. Spectators can feel the love and encouragement throughout the gymnasium.

"We had each other's back which is the most important thing and the way that we care for each other and want the best for each other is really what makes us the best team," freshman Skyla Schulte said.

Schulte was awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Week. She expressed gratitude towards her entire support system within the team and credited them for this accomplishment.

"It feels really good," Schulte said. "It only goes up from here for us. ... (This award) was not just a reflection of me but a reflection of the entire team, my support system, coaches, friends, everyone."

Not only does the team bring their energy, but their fans secure it. The crowd goes wild from the moment each gymnast steps up to their event, leading up to the final landing.

"This group tonight, for as small as it was, had a lot of energy and enthusiasm and we really do appreciate that," Rowe said.

As the season progresses, the Spartans will continue to motivate and assist one another in achieving their goals - that much is clear. Expectations are high for this team as well with a group of talented youngsters like Schulte and veterans like senior Lea Mitchell.

The Spartans will look to build off that energy on Jan. 22 in an early-season in-conference matchup against the Iowa Hawkeyes in East Lansing.

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The MSU Women's Gymnastics team receives applause from the crowd after their win at Jenison Field House on Jan. 15, 2022.

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