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Kennesaw State University

Emory student Naman Gupta using the Yik Yak app on Emory University's campus in Atlanta. Students protested hate speech on the app and called on the University to block the app on its campus.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Atlanta-based technology start-up Yik Yak laid off more than half of its staff last week.

The social media mobile app was big on college campuses when it launched in 2013, but recently it’s seen slow growth and faced backlash from users protesting hate speech and bullying.

Yik Yak, which is like an anonymous version of Twitter, is used on more than 2,000 college campuses.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

Friday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Press

A Fulton County judge Monday declined to rule on an injunction request filed by students and faculty at Kennesaw State University to stop the recent appointment of former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens as the school's president.

The filing claims Olens’ appointment was political, and accuses the Board of Regents of violating Georgia’s racketeering law.

"We’re alleging that governmental entities have been controlled and manipulated through a series of criminal, predicate acts,” said attorney Stephen Humphreys, who represents the plaintiffs.

Judge To Hear Request To Stop Sam Olens' KSU Appointment

Nov 4, 2016
Lisa Hagen / WABE

A group opposed to former Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens becoming president of Kennesaw State University will be in court Monday trying to stop it. Olens started his new job last week. Monday’s hearing is on an injunction request filed by a coalition of KSU faculty, staff and students, and the Cobb County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Atlanta Helps Steer Development Of Driverless Cars

Nov 4, 2016
In this Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, file photo, Uber employees test a self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid car, in Pittsburgh.
AP Photo/Jared Wickerham, File

With its traffic woes, research universities and corporate offices, metro Atlanta seems uniquely positioned to steer the development of driverless vehicle innovation, according to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Students and faculty members at Kennesaw State University join hands in protest Tuesday as former state Attorney General Sam Olens began his first say as university president.
Elly Yu / WABE

About a hundred students and faculty members rallied at Kennesaw State University Tuesday as former state Attorney General Sam Olens began his first day as the school's president.

The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents named Olens as president last month without conducting a national search.

Marni Roberts, a drawing and painting major at KSU, said she's concerned about how the decision could affect the university's reputation.

A group opposed to Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens becoming president of Kennesaw State University is going to court to stop it.

A coalition of KSU faculty, staff and students, and the Cobb County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, plans to request an injunction Friday.

Among their issues is the fact that Olens was the only candidate interviewed.

Owl-o-ween
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This weekend there are events to help get you in the Halloween spirit, a special tour where you can explore the unique architecture of a downtown neighborhood, and a food festival that introduces you to some of the city’s best restaurants and chefs.

Atlanta PlanIt has compiled their top picks for events happening this weekend, Oct. 21 through 23.

Friday, Oct. 21

The Ghastly Dreadfuls

Attorney General Sam Olens speaks during a news conference announcing a new campaign targeting sex trafficking, Monday, March 18, 2013, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

The Georgia Board of Regents Wednesday approved the appointment of Attorney General Sam Olens as the new president of Kennesaw State University. Regent Larry Walker abstained from the vote because of a business conflict, but the rest of the board members agreed Olens should be KSU’s next leader.

That didn’t sit well with some in attendance, like Christine Ziegler. She’s a KSU psychology professor and Georgia representative for the American Association of University Professors.

Lisa Hagen / WABE

The Georgia University System Board of Regents is set to vote Wednesday on the controversial appointment of state Attorney General Sam Olens to head Kennesaw State University.

There are vocal opponents to the selection process, but there might not be much they can do about it.

Scott Ritchie, an associate professor at KSU, plans to be at this board meeting. He and other faculty and students will be there to let the board know they're not happy with the process. 

Al Such / WABE

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Attorney General Sam Olens speaks during a news conference announcing a new campaign targeting sex trafficking, Monday, March 18, 2013, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens looks set to become the next president of Kennesaw State University. If that happens, Gov. Nathan Deal would appoint the next attorney general, according to the state constitution.

How active a new attorney general would be depends on how closely aligned they are with the governor, Mike Bowers said. He's a former Georgia attorney general himself.

University System of Georgia's Board of Regents Executive and Compensation Committee goes into executive session to interview Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens for the presidency of Kennesaw State University.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The University System Board of Regents will vote at its next board meeting on Oct. 12 on whether the state Attorney General Sam Olens should become Kennesaw State University's new president.

Olens interviewed with board members for more than an hour Tuesday to become president of the third-largest school in the University System of Georgia.

"Outstanding" Interview

Lisa Hagen / WABE

After months of speculation, the Georgia Board of Regents confirmed it is considering state Attorney General Sam Olens as Kennesaw State University's next president.

The announcement was sent minutes before hundreds of KSU students and faculty protested what had, until Monday, been only rumors about Olens.

Closer Look: 'Divided States'; Protests; And More

Sep 30, 2016
Al Such / WABE

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

John Minchillo, File / Associated Press

One of Donald Trump's most visible surrogates is helping out the campaign in Georgia Monday.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is holding a town hall at Kennesaw State University.

Kerwin Swint, a KSU professor of political science, said he expects Gingrich will be trying to shore up the party's Cobb County base.

"They understand that they need high turnout of Republicans in strongholds like Cobb to run strong statewide,” Swint said.

Horizon Theatre Company

Tuesdays on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Gadi Dagon

Internationally acclaimed dancer Ella Ben-Aharon has been heralded for her choreography and performance. She is from Israel, which has been called the world's leader in contemporary dance.   

This semester, she is here in Atlanta, teaching dance to Kennesaw State University students. That's through the Schusterman Visiting Israeli Artist Program, which places 14 Israeli artists in universities across the United States.

Courtesy of Kennesaw State University / Courtesy of Kennesaw State University

A Kennesaw State University employee is suing the school and the state university system, saying she was forced to help the university's former dining director get kickbacks from vendors.

Tracy Nunn worked for Gary Coltek, who's now under investigation for allegedly taking money from food service companies to ensure they got contracts with KSU.

Nunn says Coltek forced her to participate in facilitating the deals.   

Courtesy of The Sentinel

Kennesaw State University is phasing out its requirement that students who don't live on campus pay for a certain number of meals in the school's dining hall each semester.

This change comes on the heels of a financial audit by the University System of Georgia.

Despite the mandatory commuter meal plans, KSU's dining services still had a $5.2 million deficit at the end of the last fiscal year.

Zeinab Said Hessen owns a clothing business in Clarkston. She fled her hometown of Wau, Sudan in 1994. She said she fears for her family in South Sudan who she hasn't been able to reach in three weeks.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Some metro Atlanta residents are watching the conflict in South Sudan closely and say they are worried for their families.

This weekend, South Sudan marked its fifth independence day, but it was overshadowed by fighting that may mark the start of a second civil war.

At least 150 people have died and thousands are displaced in South Sudan after fighting broke out in the capital of Juba last week.

South-Sudanese In Atlanta

Exterior shots of the Georgia Supreme Court
Alison Guillory / WABE

Police officers throughout Georgia are not allowed to make traffic arrests while out of their jurisdiction.

The state Supreme Court made that decision Monday morning.

The decision from the Georgia Supreme Court is related to Zilke v. The State, a 2013 incident when a Kennesaw State University police officer arrested a man suspected of driving under the influence.

They were on Powder Springs Road in Kennesaw, more than 500-yards off campus. 

University system auditors have found breaches in conflict-of-interest and ethics policies by some officials at Kennesaw State University, according to a newspaper report.

Randall Shelton, Kennesaw State's administrator over dining halls and food services vendors, did consulting work for one of the school's current vendors, charged the university for trips to conferences on the company's behalf and violated other policies, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Courtesy of Tino Rodriguez

The Zuckerman Museum’s exhibit Art AIDS America closed this past weekend but not before three Republican Cobb County lawmakers condemned the art as “garbage” in the Marietta Daily Journal.

Courtesy of Kennesaw State University

The president of Kennesaw State University plans to retire at the end of June.

KSU President Dan Papp says the job has "been a pleasure" for 10 years. In a letter sent to students, faculty and others on Tuesday, Papp highlighted the university's consolidation with the former Southern Polytechnic State University, growing enrollment and the launch of a football program.

University System of Georgia officials thanked Papp for his work during more than 40 years with the system. Chancellor Hank Huckaby credited Papp with making KSU "a world-class university."

Ricky Romero (cropped, color adjusted) creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode / flickr.com/photos/rickyromero/

Thursday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Roger Dupuy, graduating senior from Kennesaw State University, talks about earning his college degree at the age of 74.
Eboni Lemon / WABE

Wednesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

A Marietta councilman is proposing to limit the number of unrelated people living in a single-family home to two.
Courtesy of the City of Marietta

Many cities and counties in Georgia have limits on the number of unrelated people who can live in one house.

In the city of Marietta, only four people who are unrelated to each other can live in a single-family home.

Councilman Griffin Chalfant is proposing to cap that number at just two.

He said the city is turning a blind eye because it’s difficult to enforce housing occupancy limits.

Kennesaw State students participate in an exchange program with students at Japan's Chukyu University.
Courtesy of Kennesaw State University / Courtesy of Kennesaw State University

Starting this fall, students at Kennesaw State University will be able to major in Asian Studies, as part of the first interdisciplinary Asian Studies bachelor’s degree program in the University System of Georgia.

Communication and Asian Studies Professor Dr. May Gao is coordinator of the new program. She led the campaign to have an Asian Studies major in the summer of 2012.

“We realized that the knowledge of Asia is critical for our students to be competitive in the global marketplace,” Gao said. “This new degree will open a lot of new doors for students.”

Undergraduates at Kennesaw State University's WellStar School of Nursing are entering a field in high demand in Cobb County and the region.
Courtesy of Kennesaw State University

The Atlanta area, like most of the state, is dealing with a shortage of registered nurses as many nurses get ready to retire.

While some hospitals are offering nurses large signing bonuses, Cobb County is trying a different approach. 

A Regional Need

Cobb County Chamber of Commerce's Workforce Development Manager Rob Garcia III said that, within a 20-mile radius of the city of Marietta, his group found a shortage of nearly 30,000 nurses. That number is expected to increase as baby boomers age and the region struggles to hire nurses.

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