NEWS BRIEFS: On Campus, Across the Nation & Around the World

Avalanche on Everest kills 12
On April 18, an avalanche struck Mount Everest killing at least 12 Sherpa guides who were fixing ropes for other climbers, according to a Nepalese Tourism Ministry official in an article in The New York Times. It is said to be the worst disaster on the mountain in recorded history.
According to Madhusudan Burlakoti, joint secretary for the Tourism Ministry, when the avalanche struck, the Sherpas were at an elevation of 19,000 feet. Their job is to fix ropes for climbers and because they expose themselves to the mountain first, they bear more risk.
Burlakoti said that four other people are missing and six have been injured. He also said the Nepalese government has mobilized four helicopters for a search-and-rescue operation.

Gang member sentenced to prison
After being convicted in February of four counts of attempted murder, Brandon Spencer, 19, was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison on April 18, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In 2012, Spencer opened fire on a rival gang member at the University of Southern California campus, the first shooting at the campus in decades. Prosecutors said Spencer did so as retribution for a shooting that had left him wounded a year earlier.
According to Deputy District Attorney Antonella Nistorescu, Spencer arrived at a crowded Halloween party on the campus, identified a member of a Crips-affiliated gang, left and then returned with a gun, firing at Geno Hall, 22. Hall and three others were wounded as results of the gunfire.

Stefani rumored to replace Aguilera
TMZ, The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap are reporting that Gwen Stefani has signed on to be a judge on season seven of NBC’s  “The Voice,” according to Yahoo! News. This came after the official announcement at the end of March that Pharrell Williams will be a judge on the show.
It has been reported that Stefani will fill in for on/off original judge Christina Aguilera, who will be close to nine months pregnant by the time season seven begins taping in June. Aguilera is expected to return for the following season. However, NBC representatives decline to comment at this time.

Westlake coach under fire
A Westlake High School junior varsity softball coach was arrested on April 18 after authorities were told he had engaged in unlawful sexual activities with a 15-year-old girl, Thousand Oaks police said in an article in The Ventura County Star.
Investigators said they quickly conducted interviews after receiving a report on April 16 directing the allegations against Robert Garza, 37, of Newbury Park, who had been a “walk-on” coach for the Conejo Valley Unified School District for several years.
Investigators believe the alleged incident with a student athlete occurred off school grounds during the students’ spring break.
According to the police, after completing the investigation, detectives arrested Garza on suspicion of a variety of sexual assault charges involving a minor.
Garza was booked into county jail and held in lieu of $100,000 bail, authorities said.

Danwon HS faculty hangs himself
As over 300 Danwon High School students remain missing after a ferry capsized on a routine trip to a resort island in South Korea on April 16, more news surfaced on April 18.
According to the New York Times, Vice Principal Kang Min-kyu, 52, who survived the accident, was found hanging from a tree near a gymnasium where families of the missing had gathered.
“It’s too much, being alive alone while more than 200 of my students are missing,” Min-kyu wrote in a suicide note found in his wallet, according to the police. “Please place all the blame on me because I was in charge of the trip. Please cremate my body and scatter the ashes where the ship sank. Perhaps I should be a teacher for those missing children in the other world.”
On the evening of April 18, hundreds of students held a candlelight vigil for Min-kyu on the school grounds.


Lindsay Hunter
Staff Writer
Published April 23, 2014