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Slain former NBA player’s loved ones still want answers to ex-wife’s involvement in his murder

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailRonald Martinez/Getty ImagesBy TOM BERMAN and HALEY YAMADA, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Former NBA player Lorenzen Wright was murdered more than a decade ago in a plan involving his ex-wife, but Wright’s family and friends are still dealing with many unanswered questions, including “why?”“When you’re the mother of six kids and you’re married to their father, and you would [want to] see him dead, that’s just evil. That’s wicked,” Montae Nevels, Wright’s friend, told 20/20.“I hope the truth comes out,” Phil Dotson, another of his friends, told 20/20.Growing up in Oxford, Mississippi, Wright found a fierce passion for playing basketball. His success on the high school and collegiate levels in Memphis, Tennessee, eventually culminated into his being the seventh overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft when he headed to the Los Angeles Clippers.Wright eventually moved to the Atlanta Hawks and then was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001.“To be able to play high school ball here, to play college ball and then to play in the NBA in front of your hometown, I don’t know if it gets any better than that,” Dotson said.Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion, was thrilled to have her son home again.“It was great because my dad was still living and my mom… They were getting older. But then they could actually see their grandson do something,” Marion said.Although he skyrocketed into the fast life of the NBA, Wright’s childhood friends said that he never lost touch with his roots.“He would give people jobs,” said Dotson. “He just wanted his buddies around to enjoy the fruits of his labor. … It was like Disneyland at his house!”While playing summer basketball in his junior year of high school, Wright met his ex-wife Sherra Robinson, who became Sherra Wright Robinson. Her father happened to be his coach and friends said Wright fell for her.“She was easy on the eyes,” Nevels said. “I don’t think he had never ever [come] in contact with anyone that looked like Sherra.”The couple eventually started dating and had their first child together — a son named Lorenzen Jr. But Wright’s mother said she never fell for his ex-wife’s charm.After having Lorenzen Jr., the couple got married and had a daughter named Loren, twin boys named Lamar and Shamar, another daughter named Sofia, a son named Lawson and a girl named Sierra, who died of sudden infant death syndrome when she was a baby.Fighting to stay in the league, Wright was at the tail end of his career when he went back to the Hawks for a time, and then played for the Sacramento Kings and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s estimated that Wright had earned around $55 million over the course of his NBA career. But, as Nevels put it, “just as fast as he was making money, money was being spent.”There were also accusations of infidelity in the relationship on both sides. After 13 years together, the couple divorced in February 2010.“Lorenzen told me the marriage ended because he didn’t trust Sherra anymore and she felt the same about him … but they were still going to … try to find a way to raise these kids,” said Mike Gipson, another one of Wright’s friends.“I think what happened to the marriage was that … they grew apart,” Dotson said.By summer 2010, Wright was living in Atlanta with Gipson, while his ex-wife remained in Memphis with the kids. Yet, Gipson said Wright still had an intimate relationship with his ex-wife. One weekend, Wright flew home to Memphis to attend his daughter’s dance recital and his sister’s baby shower. He called Dotson and the two arranged to hang out. It was July 19, 2010.“Completely unexpected, out of the blue … he calls me … and says, ‘Hey bud, I’m in town, let’s hang out,” Dotson said. “So he comes over… We’re kicking back, we’re relaxing, smoking cigars on the patio.”That evening, Dotson said Wright’s ex-wife called him demanding that he bring their son back home “now.”“And he was like, ‘OK, all right, fine. I don’t want to argue with you,’” Dotson said. “So we drove to the house. … And when we pull up at the house … he said, ‘I’m going to go in here and I’m going to calm her down, and I’ll call you later and then we can go out.”Dotson said that was the last time he saw Wright.Hours later, just after midnight, a Germantown, Tennessee, 911 operator responded to an incoming call. On the call, a voice could be heard yelling, “God ****” before it was followed by gunshots.“Hello? Hello?” the dispatcher said over and over again, but the phone remained silent.The Germantown Police Department, which declined to comment to ABC News for this report, did not follow up on the call. It wasn’t revisited until nine days later while the Memphis Police Department investigated Wright’s disappearance.At the time, a review by the Germantown Police Department concluded that the dispatchers had properly followed procedures.Marion, who had reported her son as a missing person, said she became suspicious of his ex-wife. In the days after Wright went missing, she said his ex-wife told her Wright was with “some women.”“I kept calling him all day and he didn’t answer the phone,” said Marion. “This is what I told her… ‘Sherra, where is he? You need to let us know.’ She’s constantly saying about [other] women … he [was] with some women.”Wright Robinson, however, also claimed to investigators that there was a drug connection. She told investigators she had last seen Wright drive off with an unknown man carrying a box of drugs that she claimed he was trying to sell. She also claimed armed men wearing trench coats had recently come to the home looking for Wright.Wright was never implicated in any criminal activity.Nine days after the distressing 911 call, after Memphis police found out about the 911 call, they were able to pinpoint where it was made. This eventually led them to Wright’s remains in a wooded area on a desolate road that he used to take to get to his mother’s house. His body had gunshot wounds.His mother and friends were in disbelief when they heard the news. It seemed to Gipson that this would be an easy case to solve.“He’s a celebrity from Memphis, so I thought this would be an open and shut case,” he said. “Never in my life did I think it would take so long [to solve].”Police ruled the case a homicide and began investigating. Wright Robinson denied any involvement during questioning with police as well as in a local TV news interview. The criminal case turned cold for the next seven years.Meanwhile, Wright Robinson seemed to move on with her life. But those in Wright’s corner said some of his ex-wife’s behavior was unusual.For one, she was accused of misspending some of the $1 million life insurance policy that was intended for their kids’ benefit, which Wright had purchased as a condition of their divorce settlement.In 2015, five years after the murder, Wright Robinson published “Mr. Tell Me Anything,” a novel that centered around the life of a woman who marries an abusive and unfaithful basketball star. She claimed in an interview that the supposedly fictitious story was based on her real life.“I just believed it. I was like, ‘She’s baring all,’” said Kelvin Cowans, referring to the book.Cowans, a journalist, started dating Wright Robinson that same year even though he admits their relationship crossed a professional line. He claims he fell in love with her during an interview about Wright Robinson’s life, which included talking about her new book. The pair eventually moved to Houston together with Wright Robinson’s kids. Cowans said he was never suspicious of her during their relationship.“I’m like, ‘If she’d done something, they’d have her by now.’ I mean I never would’ve moved away with her if I thought she was a killer,” said Cowans.Cowans said the relationship eventually fell apart because he couldn’t get past what he described as her obsession with getting money from Wright’s estate.“[I thought] I cannot believe that your apex of life is still, ‘How much money can I get?’” Cowans said.After they broke up, Wright Robinson relocated to California with her kids.Life seemed to continue on until November 2017, when police announced a huge break in the Wright murder investigation: They had found one of the murder weapons — a gun — in a lake in Walnut, Mississippi, about 45 minutes away from Wright’s former home.In court, prosecutors said the break had come from Wright Robinson’s cousin, Jimmie Martin. He had been convicted of second-degree murder in an unrelated case that had occurred three years prior to Wright’s death. While he was awaiting sentencing, Martin allegedly started talking to investigators. Prosecutors say he claimed he participated in the planning to kill Wright with Wright Robinson and another man named Billy Ray Turner but that the attempt was foiled.“Turner was a landscaper, a yardman who happened to be a deacon in a small country church that Sherra attended,” said Memphis journalist Marc Perrusquia.According to prosecutors, Martin claimed that a few days after Wright’s death, Wright Robinson and Turner confessed to him that they had murdered Wright, and that he then helped them clean up the crime scene.Martin alleged that a metal detector was used to try to find a gun that had been dropped during the crime, and that he and Turner then drove to the lake in Mississippi where Turner disposed of a gun, according to prosecutors.Martin has not been charged in connection with Lorenzen Wright’s death. He declined to comment to ABC News for this report.After the gun announcement, investigators said they started monitoring Wright Robinson’s and Turner’s cell phones, and alleged that they learned incriminating information. Both were arrested and charged in December 2017.Turner was indicted on first-degree murder charges and pleaded not guilty. When he first appeared in a Shelby County, Tennessee, courtroom on Dec. 5, 2017, Wright’s mother was finally able to see the person allegedly responsible for killing her son.“When I saw him, I knew instantly [that Wright Robinson] used him because that’s not what she want[ed]. You know, he had no money! She don’t deal with no grass cutter!” said Marion.“It was a standard arrest. There was no incidence to it. This person who, for the past 25 years, had not had any sort of troubles,” said John Keith Perry, Turner’s defense attorney. “I absolutely think that he did not do it.”Wright Robinson was charged with first-degree murder, criminal attempted first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. She pleaded not guilty.When he saw the announcement of her arrest on the news, Cowans was blown away.“I’m like, I just spent almost … three years of my life with a killer,” he said.The stage was set for Wright Robinson and Turner to be tried together, but that all changed when Turner was faced with another legal matter.Turner, a previously convicted felon on unrelated charges that stemmed from a case in the early 1990s, was found in illegal possession of a gun when he was arrested for murder in the Wright case. He pleaded guilty to possessing the firearm.After they learned about the plea, Wright Robinson’s lawyers worried that Turner would strike a plea deal with prosecutors in the Wright murder case and testify against Wright Robinson. Her lawyer, Juni Ganguli, said, “We told her, if Billy testifies against you, it’s going to be disastrous.”On July 25, 2019, Wright Robinson agreed to a plea deal, pleading guilty to the facilitation of first-degree murder. Prosecutors agreed to a lesser sentence of 30 years in prison and parole eligibility, for which she could be released as early as 2026. Had Wright Robinson gone to trial, she faced the prospect of spending the rest of her life in prison.Prosecutors declined to comment to ABC News for this report.When Wright Robinson’s plea bargain was announced in court, the judge allowed Marion the chance to speak to her son’s ex-wife.After close to a decade of pain, Marion turned to face the woman who admitted she had been involved in her son’s murder. At that moment, instead of expressing outrage, Marion said she made the decision to focus on her six grandchildren.“Ms. Sherra, I want to thank you for giving me my grandchildren, that’s what I want to thank you for,” she said in court. “I want you to unlock them so I can get to them so they can see their grandma, because Sofia keeps calling. She wants to come make chicken and dumplings. But I want you to call them, [and say], ‘No it’s OK to talk to grandma, grandma still loves you.’ That’s all I want is my grandkids.”“I just hate what happened to my child,” Marion continued, speaking to Sherra. “But he left nice looking kids here for his grandma. They want to see me like I want to see them. I’m ready for them to come back to the home with their family. Because I miss them.”Wright Robinson asked if she was allowed to reply, but her lawyers told her it was not a good idea.“I advised her not to, because at that point, what difference does it make,” said Ganguli.Although Wright Robinson is now behind bars, Marion still does not have full closure.Turner was expected to go to trial this month, but the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed his proceedings. Marion is forced to wait longer for a resolution.“With Lorenzen, I’d be talking to his picture and sometimes his picture could look at me a certain way like it’s really him… He was a momma’s boy. Simple as that,” she said. “He would still be a momma’s boy if he was here now.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. September 17, 2020 /Sports News – National Slain former NBA player’s loved ones still want answers to ex-wife’s involvement in his murder Written bycenter_img Beau Lundlast_img read more

Chevron and Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd. sign LNG agreement

first_img Chevron Corporation headquarters in San Ramon, California. (Credit: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia.org) Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) today announced its wholly-owned subsidiary Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (Singapore Branch) (“CUSA”) has signed a binding Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Hokkaido Gas Co., Ltd. for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Chevron’s global LNG portfolio to the Hokkaido area.Under the agreement, CUSA will supply Hokkaido Gas with about a half million tons of LNG over a period of five years starting April 2022.“We are delighted to design and execute a Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with our new partner Hokkaido Gas that will bring Chevron LNG directly to Hokkaido, a key growth area. It broadens our customer base in Japan, a market that is foundational to our LNG business. This new SPA represents Chevron’s commitment to collaborate with Hokkaido Gas in diversifying energy solutions and advancing a lower carbon future in the Hokkaido area,” said John Kuehn, President of Chevron Global Gas, a division of CUSA.Hokkaido Gas is an integrated energy company located in Sapporo, Japan which provides city gas, electricity and other high value-added energy services in Hokkaido region. Source: Company Press Release New agreement to bring LNG direct to growth area in strategic marketlast_img read more

Mayor to Dog Owners: Keep Your Pets Leashed

first_imgBy DONALD WITTKOWSKI and MADDY VITALEAlthough dogs are banned on Ocean City’s beaches during the peak summer tourism season, they are allowed to romp on the sand from Oct. 1 to April 30 provided they are on a leash and their owners clean up any messes.Mayor Jay Gillian says that he has been taking a “be nice, be kind” approach up to this point, but now he is warning owners that they must keep their dogs on a leash or face the consequences.“We just have to be careful with dogs running loose on the beach,” he said during the City Council meeting Nov. 19.He noted he has received complaints from some residents who are fearful that they will be bitten by unleashed dogs.In response, Gillian is working with the Humane Society of Ocean City on a public education program reminding dog owners of the importance of keeping their pets on a leash while walking them on the beach and the streets.“We still have to be responsible in the city to make sure people are following these rules, whether they think it’s ridiculous or not,” he said.Police have gone out of their way trying to be patient and kind with dog owners who are violating the leash law instead of giving them summonses, Gillian pointed out.“But the police are exhausted,” Gillian said. “They’ve been working, trying to be nice, to be kind, because that’s the way this administration has always tried to be. But for the few that just don’t care and are abusive of it and really don’t care about everyone else, we will have to step in.”Violators risk fines of up to $500 for not keeping their dogs leashed. Gillian stressed that he would rather educate dog owners than fine them, but he is warning them that police will begin cracking down if violations continue.“I’m going to have to tell you, if people continually disrespect this ordinance, I’m going to have no choice but to be heavy-handed, and I hate doing that. But if people do not work together, we’re going to have to do it. That’s always my last resort,” he told the Council members.Dogs are allowed on the beach during the off-season, but are banned from the Boardwalk.Gillian acknowledged that some dog owners will be upset if they receive a summons. But he said that some people are “scared to death” of unleashed dogs and won’t be able to enjoy the beaches if pets are allowed to run free.“I know it’s a touchy subject. It’s like sometimes talking about your children. But at the end of the day, we’re talking about public safety. You always hear me talking about it. I’m not vicious, where I want to be mean and point fingers,” he said.The city’s public education campaign will include having members of the Humane Society go out on the beaches to talk with dog owners and hand out pamphlets, Gillian said.Phil Bellucci, director of operations for the Humane Society, is urging all dog owners to follow the rules as a way of showing “mutual respect and common courtesy” to everyone in town.“The best policy is for everyone to honor the current dog ordinances. People need to understand that as much as we love our dogs, we must respect the fact that some people do not, and nothing can be more terrifying to them than an unleashed dog running at them,” Bellucci said.Dog owners interviewed by OCNJDaily.com said they don’t mind the rules requiring them to keep their pets leashed.Last Friday morning, Billy Bob, a rescue beagle, had the beach virtually all to himself.“Billy Bob loves the feeling of roaming free, but he is on a long leash,” said his owner, Althea Vail, of Blackwood, N.J. “He loves the beach. He is really being a good boy.”Ericka Mendes, of Charlotte, N.C., and her mother-in-law, Maryanne Woytowicz, of Ocean City, enjoyed a walk on the 10th Street beach with Mendes’ dog, Larry “the mutt,” a rescue dog from Brazil.“It’s great. Larry loves the beach,” Mendes said while keeping him on a leash. “It’s great that we can take him on the beach here in Ocean City.”Althea Vail, of Blackwood, N.J., plays with her dog, Billy Bob, on the beach while he is on a leash. Maryanne Woytowicz, of Ocean City, and her daughter-in-law, Ericka Mendes, of Charlotte, N.C., take Larry for a beach walk while keeping him on a leash.last_img read more

Doughnut survey reveals consumer preferences

first_imgA new online survey has revealed that consumers would fancy a cheese and onion doughnut accompanied by a glass of champagne.In the run-up to National Doughnut Week on 12-19 May, other savoury varieties, such as bacon with maple syrup or cheese and chutney, came out as favourites. The majority of people interviewed confirmed a cup of tea should go alongside the traditional jam doughnut, but a glass of bubbly would suit their dream doughnuts.Helen Sinclair of bakery ingredients business CSM United Kingdom – sponsor of National Doughnut Week – said: “The fun survey gave us a fresh insight into the consumers’ love of doughnuts and their wish-list for the future, demonstrating that consumers have a real affection for the baked goods, which they believe deliver a unique treat sensation for young and old.“And for bakers seeking to increase doughnut sales and raise even more cash for charity during National Doughnut Week, our survey says loud and clear – the biggest ‘must have a doughnut’ trigger is watching someone else eating one, so why not hand out a few samples and trigger the doughnut munchies in your shop?”National Doughnut Week aims to help bakers increase sales of doughnuts, as well as the awareness of their role on the high street, while raising money for The Children’s Trust. To find out more, visit www.nationaldoughnutweek.org.last_img read more

Born & Bread: Birds Bakery, Derby

first_imgFrom humble beginnings to a 65-store estate, Birds Bakery is marking its centenary year with the return of some old favourites and a trip down memory lane.Birds the Confectioners was founded in 1919 by brothers Frank, Thomas and Reginald Bird on their return from the war, when they purchased an existing small shop and bakery in Derby.The second site came in the early 1920s, a few miles from the first on Normanton Road, Derby. In the early 1930s, Birds opened its first site outside Derby, in nearby Burton-upon-Trent.Soon after, business was affected by the Second World War and Birds could only produce a fraction of its usual goods due to strict rationing. This resulted in long queues outside its shops (pictured above), and the business was also featured in a war-time film. Frank, the last remaining founder member, died in 1951 and the business was taken over by relatives Reginald and Paul Bird. The latter remained managing director until 1992.In 1974, Paul Bird wrote the company’s mission statement: ‘To provide customers with the highest possible quality of cakes, pork pies, bread and savouries, at a reasonable cost and with a friendly reliable service’. It is that service, quality and freshness that Mike Holling, the current sales and marketing director, believes has been integral to Birds’ success.Birds launched its well-known caramel doughnut in 1988, and now sells around 14,000 each week. The first ‘Expresso’ shop format opened in the Eagle Centre, Derby, in 1998, selling take-away food. This proved successful and was rolled out into other town and city centres, before being discontinued in 2015, when the business rebranded from Birds the Confectioners to Birds Bakery. To mark its 100th anniversary this year, Birds revived some of its traditional baked goods from times gone by. It also named WellChild, a charity for seriously ill children and young people, and SSAFA – the armed forces charity – as the chosen recipients of its fundraising, and hopes to reach £100,000 to mark its 100 years in business.Derby City Council recognised the Bird brothers’ contribution to the city centre with a plaque in the pavement as part of its Walk of Fame, and a new shop opened on Lister Gate, Nottingham. As to the future of the business, Birds plans to open five further sites next year and is now looking for alternative locations away from the high street to develop the brand further. 1919: Birds the Confectioners founded1951: Last founder Frank Bird dies, and the business is taken over by Reginald and Paul Bird1992: Paul Bird dies and Patrick and Nicholas Bird take over1999: Birds’ satellite bakery in Nottingham closes down2015: Birds the Confectioners rebrands as Birds Bakery2017: Many stores are refurbished as part of a new store development programme2018: Partnership with local coffee firm 200 Degrees begins2019: Birds celebrates centenary year and is celebrated in Derby’s Walk of Fame (pictured above)last_img read more

Eau de Subway: anyone for a garlic bread diffuser?

first_imgSubway has unveiled a limited-edition range of cheesy garlic bread-scented diffusersNamed the Ultimate Cheesy Garlic Bread Reed Diffuser, the fragrance combines notes of savoury garlic, melting cheese and freshly baked bread.It will produce cheesy wafts, sure to leave an impression on your guests, said the company.Each diffuser is presented in a giftable box representing Subway’s colours.The smell of freshly baked bread recently topped a list of Brits’ favourite smells, according to a poll of 2,000 UK adults by customer experience specialists Watermelon Research. The scent beat traditional festive fragrances such as Christmas trees, cinnamon and gingerbread, as well as ground coffee and fresh linen.“Our Ultimate Cheesy Garlic Bread is a huge hit with our guests; they can’t get enough of it. So, we wanted to find a way to give them more of what they really want this Christmas,” said Colin Hughes, country director UK at Subway.Only 100 prototypes have been created in a trial run before being rolled out nationally next year.“Why should fans have to fill their houses with the same old festive scents, when they could bottle up the smell of their favourite indulgent Subway treat? We predict Ultimate Cheesy Garlic Bread could become the scent of 2020!”last_img read more

Celebrate Thom Yorke’s 50th Birthday With Massive Festival Performances Past And Present [Full Show Videos]

first_imgToday, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and tortured Radiohead visionary Thom Yorke turns 50 years old. Last year, Radiohead was honored with a nomination for induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame—a particularly grand gesture considering this is the first year the group is eligible for entry. 2017 also saw Radiohead release OKNOTOK, the 20th-anniversary reissue of their 1997 album, OK Computer. The release came on the heels of 2016’s A Moon Shaped Pool, the band’s first new album in five years, which was supported by a full-blown world tour and marked Radiohead’s first performances since 2012. The band’s sound has gone through various transformations over the years—from angst-ridden radio smashes to electronic music to classical and jazz influences, to extensive looping and sampling—though Yorke’s distinctively haunting falsetto consistently leading the way. In honor of Thom Yorke’s 50th, take a look back at some of the band’s biggest performances from different eras, including their landmark performances at the UK’s prestigious Glastonbury Festival in 1997, 2003, and 2011, as well as their American festival debut at last year’s Lollapalooza. Full show videos and setlists can be found below.Radiohead – Lollapalooza 2016 – 7/29/16[Video: Jake Wallace] Radiohead – Glastonbury Festival 2011 “Surprise” Show – 6/24/11 [Video: Johnny Airbag] Radiohead – Glastonbury Festival 1997 – 6/28/97[Video: AustinBrock] Happy 50th Mr. Yorke, here’s to many more years of evolving and pushing musical boundaries! Radiohead – Glastonbury Festival 2003 – 6/28/03[Video: Johnny Airbag]last_img read more

Background to Brexit: How to Leave the EU

first_imgDisbelief from last month’s vote for Brexit lingers. Proponents of Britain’s continued EU membership want to revisit the decision. Some hope the British parliament will vote against implementing the referendum, or that the next prime minister will decide not to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. Others suggest Scotland could refuse to consent to Brexit. There is also an online petition urging a second referendum, and there are calls for a general election.These ideas are understandable given the uncertainties if Britain were to leave the European Union, but attempts to block that process could fuel the resentment felt by a large part of the British population who believe current policies do not meet their needs.Establishing political order in the UK is therefore a priority—the ship needs a rudder and a captain to plot a new course and navigate the rough waters ahead. Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and former London Mayor Boris Johnson will not be his successor as many had expected. Instead, the next prime minister will be a woman, Home Secretary Theresa May, who has been elected head of the Conservative Party. She is expected to take over as prime minister on July 13, making her Britain’s second female prime minister since the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979.With Europe’s leaders divided over how to negotiate Brexit, the labyrinthine process of disentangling Britain from the EU is daunting. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Congregation celebrates 175th anniversary

first_imgAs the Congregation of Holy Cross celebrates its 175th anniversary today, its enduring influence on Notre Dame’s international vision and commitment to Catholic education and service is readily apparent.  University President Fr. John Jenkins said the anniversary signifies the strength of the consistent mission of Holy Cross in relation to the legacy of the University it established in 1842. “It is deeply satisfying to serve a congregation that has maintained a seamless continuity with our founder’s vision for the past 175 years,” Jenkins said. ‘The anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate our past and renew our commitment to education, inquiry and service to the Church and the world.” Fr. Jim Connelly, a Congregation historian, said its 1837 establishment by Fr. Basil Moreau in LeMans, France, laid the foundation for the group’s forays into international mission work and Catholic education.  In 1841, Holy Cross brothers ventured from Europe to start schools in southern Indiana at the request of a group of French bishops, Connelly said, which led to the founding of the University in November 1842 when several brothers and priests migrated north. “There was only one school needed in Vincennes, so the bishop made a deal with Fr. [Edward] Sorin and the Holy Cross brothers: if they came to northern Indiana, he would give them the land to which he held title to start a school,” Connelly said. A contingent of Holy Cross sisters arrived at Notre Dame in 1843, and they immediately recruited local women to join their community and established a school in Bertrand, Mich., which would eventually become Saint Mary’s College, Connelly said. Holy Cross, whose American headquarters are at Notre Dame, also played a role in American Civil War history, as several priests and sixty sisters served the Union army as chaplains and nurses, Connelly said.  Connelly said the national impact of the Congregation and Notre Dame was amplified during the early 20th century with the success of legendary football coach Knute Rockne. “Immense publicity was brought to Notre Dame with its football success, so that increased enrollment to the thousands and attracted students from around the country,” he said. The onset of World War II nearly forced the University to shut down due to lack of male students, but the implementation of an accelerated Naval officer training program kept campus alive during wartime, Connelly said. Despite these wartime challenges, Connelly said Holy Cross continued its reputation as a leader of Catholic education throughout the world, including such institutions of higher education as St. Edward’s University, the University of Portland, King’s College and Stonehill College. “Because of Holy Cross’s good reputation in establishing Notre Dame, the Congregation was invited to open other schools around the country,” he said. “Some Holy Cross priests are parish priests, but education has been the primary focus here and in missions abroad.” Beginning with the foundation of the Holy Cross missions in Bangladesh in 1853, the Congregation has maintained a strong international presence in several countries, including Chile, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil, Ghana, India, Peru, Mexico and the Philippines.  Connelly said these missions focus on the development of secondary schools and parishes, and the work of Holy Cross religious has paved the way for Notre Dame students to serve abroad. “Many of the programs that have developed at Notre Dame started because they went to places where the Congregation was active, such as east Africa and Chile,” Connelly said. Fr. Sean McGraw, a Notre Dame graduate and professor of political science, said the international influence of the Congregation is embedded in the mission of the University, and this connection came to life during his visits to Holy Cross missions in Chile, India and Haiti. “In each of these three places I was struck by the joy of the people there and their commitment to serving the poor and serving in schools,” McGraw said. “To be able to see people filled with so much joy working in challenging situations was a powerful witness that we’re part of something bigger, and Holy Cross allows us to remember we’re an international community.” McGraw holds a unique connection to the University, as he has lived out the Holy Cross mission as an undergraduate, a co-founder of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), a seminarian and now as a professor.  “When I came back to start ACE, I realized the wonderful power of education as a transformative force in the world. As a seminarian, I came to know a deeper sense of how everything we do is rooted in Christ and the Gospel,” he said. “Now, as a teacher, I integrate all of those things.” Through these varied experiences, McGraw said he has come to understand the meaning of the shared mission of Holy Cross and Notre Dame to educate the mind and heart. “That’s one of the things you always hear about Holy Cross. We teach, reside, pray, celebrate and do things with students, and the community here gives us the opportunity to live that mission, so hopefully we are witnesses of that,” he said. “Holy Cross has had a strong relationship with the laity by forging its mission with the people we live and serve with, which is one of the great legacies of the mission of Holy Cross at Notre Dame.” Citing the University’s founder as an influence for his vision as an educator today, McGraw said Fr. Sorin’s personal vision of Notre Dame as a beacon of light and hope in the world resonates in his relationship with students. “I love the notion of seeing the light and giving them hope,” he said. “That’s what we still try to do here, especially in education. We try to help each student discover their passions, their own light.”last_img read more

Peabody Angles to Keep Kayenta Mine in Arizona Open

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg BNA:A group of business and government representatives are exploring the possibility of keeping alive a troubled coal mine in northern Arizona.The Kayenta mine, operated by Peabody Energy, appears likely to shut down at the end of 2019, when the nearby Navajo Generating Station is also scheduled to close. The two are linked because the power plant is Kayenta’s only customer. No rail line exists to ship the Kayenta coal to the outside world.But now, a group of stakeholders that includes Peabody, the Bureau of Reclamation, and Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.) have come together to study the cost of building a rail extension to a Burlington Northern Santa Fe line 115 miles to the south.Peabody spokeswoman Beth Sutton declined to comment on the rail spur, but said the company continues working with stakeholders that would allow NGS to stay open “well beyond 2019.” That includes “engaging a globally recognized firm to identify a new ownership structure,” Sutton said.O’Halleran also said the possibility of building a coal gasification plant to replace the Navajo Generating Station is on the table, corroborating statements made by Navajo Nation presidential spokesman Mihio Manus to Bloomberg BNA earlier this month.Those comments have taken many industry watchers by surprise, in light of two recent high-profile stumbles in the coal gasification industry. Duke Energy’s Edwardsport coal gasification plant in Indiana cost $1.5 billion more than originally planned and still doesn’t run reliably, according to David Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).More recently, Mississippi regulators concerned about the rising costs of Southern Co.’s Kemper plant ordered the company last month to transition the plant to natural gas.On Aug. 11, the IEEFA said coal gasified power at Edwardsport costs $64.40 per megawatt hour, compared to $44.37 at the Navajo Generating Station.More: Peabody Mine May Survive if Railroad Extension Built Peabody Angles to Keep Kayenta Mine in Arizona Openlast_img read more