Continuing the dream in 2018: 50 years after MLK Jr.’s death

The town-gown event “Continuing the Dream in 2018” featured professor and coordinator of Black World Studies, Rodney Coates, who was recently charged by President Greg Crawford to head up a task force designed to educate the Miami community on how to combat racism and bigotry. Coates emphasized the theme of event throughout his speech: dreams. “Dreams without purpose are fantasies,” he said. “And dream makers are everyday people who stand up and fight for change…and while technology allows us to travel to the moon, we need to learn how to travel next door.” Well over 200 people gathered in Shriver Center on Monday, Jan. 15 to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. By late morning, dozens of students, faculty, and Oxford residents lined the walls and spilled out into the hallway leading out of Shriver’s Heritage Room. Throughout the event, Treva Boardman, music director at Westwood Presbyterian Church, led the audience in song, beginning with James Weldon Johnson’s hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” “Facing the rising sun of our new day begun / Let us march on till victory is won.” Coates’ speech was preceded by Oxford’s NAACP chapter president, Fran Jackson and member Ann Wengler. Jackson and Wengler presented the awards for the Creative Arts Exhibition, in which students from the Talawanda school district, the local sunday school and the McGuffey Montessori School submitted 128 entries into...

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Cristescu pleads guilty to minor charges, awaits hearing for felony charge

Miami sophomore Nicholas Cristescu plead guilty Thursday to a marijuana paraphernalia charge and an amended class one misdemeanor for disseminating matter harmful to minors. As part of plea deal, the state dismissed a marijuana possession charge against Cristescu. The 20-year-old finance major stood before Butler County Area I judge Robert Lyons in the Oxford courthouse at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14. Lyons issued a $150 fine for the marijuana paraphernalia charge and followed the recommendations of the pre-sentencing agreement for the misdemeanor charge: Cristescu was handed a $1,000 fine and will serve one year of probation. As part of his probation, Cristescu will complete a mandatory drug and alcohol assessment. The results of the assessment will determine whether or not Cristescu will be required to pursue further alcohol or drug treatment. Cristescu also received credit for 10 of the days he served in jail. As a result of a plea agreement, any evidence relevant to the case within the Butler County Area I court will be destroyed, Cristescu’s lawyer for the Area I charges, Neal Schuett said. Cristescu still faces one count of rape, one count of sexual battery and 11 counts of voyeurism in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas. His trial is scheduled to begin the second week of January. Cristescu posted $75,000 bond for these charges on Monday, Nov. 27. As of Friday, Dec....

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Oxford ‘Safe Ride’ driver arrested on rape, kidnapping charges

Oxford Police arrested local taxi driver Sherman Jackson II Saturday on rape and kidnapping charges. The arrest came after two 21-year-old female Miami University students filed two separate sexual assault reports against the driver on Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9, according to a news release from the Oxford Police. Both students allege Sherman assaulted them in his vehicle. Other Miami students have interacted with Sherman and his business before, and some have reported experiences that made them uncomfortable. “I’ve taken a ride with [Jackson] about two to three times before,” sophomore Spencer Ruebel said. “I was never...

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Miami Student joins Your Voice Ohio reporting initiative

  The Miami Student, along with several other publications in the Miami Valley, is joining forces with local news organizations to better cover community issues and increase local trust in the media through an initiative titled “Your Voice Ohio.” The Jefferson Center, a nonpartisan civic engagement organization, is coordinating the initiative through the Ohio Media Project (OMP). OMP is made up of several media Ohio outlets, including The Columbus Dispatch, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dayton Daily News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Hamilton-Journal News and others. Throughout the next two and a half months, The Student will be working in collaboration with these outlets to specifically address the opioid epidemic in southwestern Ohio. In January, OMP media outlets will produce stories centered around solutions to the opioid crisis. The leaders of this initiative — Andrew Rockway, program director of the Jefferson Center, and Your Voice Ohio, editor and coordinator Doug Oplinger — hope to garner interest for community meetings that will be hosted by the Jefferson Center throughout February. These meetings will take place in Cincinnati, Dayton, Middletown and rural communities in Clinton County and Wilmington. During these times residents, will have the opportunity to meet with journalists one-on-one and gain a better understanding of how journalism works and how reporters can provide the public with more relevant information about rehabilitation centers, opioid addiction hotlines, etc. Updates and stories regarding the...

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Trial date set for student facing rape, sexual assault related charges

HAMILTON, OH—Nicolas Cristescu, a Miami sophomore facing one count of rape, one count of sexual battery and 11 counts of voyeurism, had a trial date set for Jan. 9 – 11, 2018 and was denied lower bond on Monday, Nov. 27, in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas. Cristescu entered Judge Michael A. Oster’s Courtroom A, in the criminal division of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, for his plea/trial setting hearing around 1 p.m. on Nov. 27. After Cristescu’s alleged Oct. 12 attack in a residence room in Heritage Commons against a female student (known in court documents as “Jane Doe”) was reported to MUPD, he was placed in Butler County jail. He has been there for the past six weeks. In the original criminal complaint — resulting in Cristescu’s rape charge in the Butler County Area I Court — Det. Sharon Burkett of MUPD states that “Cristescu video recorded himself having vaginal sex with an unconscious female.” Additionally, in the five initial criminal complaints in reference to pandering obscene material to a minor, Det. Walt Schneider of MUPD says “Cristescu possessed a photograph of a naked, identified sixteen year old on his cell phone.” Those charges were eventually amended to a class one misdemeanor for disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. All of these criminal complaints were verified through the Butler County Area I docket search....

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