[View the story “Tri-State Area Reacts to Threat of Winter Storm Nemo” on Storify]

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Curating Project Pitch February 2012

urlThere might be snow on New York streets in mid-February, but local teams are donned in shorts and tee’s getting back into the swing of baseball.

Both the Mets and Yankees have started the pitchers and catchers portion of Spring Training, in Florida.

I intend on covering the Amazin’s and the Bombers, as they prep for another long baseball season in the big apple.

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Staten Islanders in Uniform — Army Spc. Christina Rullan cited during Afghan tour of duty

Rullan.jpgSTATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — U.S. Army Spc. Christina Rullan, a native Staten Islander currently deployed in Afghanistan, was named War Fighter of the Month and Soldier of the Month recently.

Spc. Rullan, a 2006 graduate of Tottenville High School and a former College of Staten Island student, joined the Army in August of 2010.

She went to basic military training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and followed that with Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon, Ga., specializing in the repair of night vision equipment.

Her first duty station was Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash. She was assigned to the Forward Support Company of the14th Combat Engineer BN.

She is currently serving at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Her unit’s mission in the Operation Enduring Freedom is Route Clearance.

During her current deployment, Spc. Rullan was promoted from private second class to private first class to specialist.

She entered and won the War Fighter of the Month and Soldier of the Month contests, articulating the importance of the basics of leadership.

She received two awards, two coins and a plaque from both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army for her achievements.

Spc. Rullan is due to redeploy back to the United States in July.

She says she’s looking forward to reuniting with my mother (Debbie Sorensen), her brothers (Anthony Sorensen and Joseph Guerra), and her husband (Christopher Rullan) when she goes on leave in August.

Airman 1st Class Mikhail Bogopolskiy 

Air Force Airman 1st Class Mikhail Bogopolskiy graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Bogopolskiy is the son of Nataliya Bogopolskaya and Alex Bogopolskiy of Seaview Avenue.

He is a 2007 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School.

Air Force Airman Nicholas Venier 

Air Force Airman Nicholas J. Venier graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Venier is the son of Elizabeth and Donald Venier of Greencroft Lane.

He is a 2011 graduate of New Dorp High School.

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While students register for their spring semester classes, the faculty at CSI is busy defending the integrity of the academic curriculum. In recent months CUNY has been working on a plan to drop the general education requirement from sixty credits to thirty credits, in a proposal called the Pathways.
“The time table given to us to fully review Pathways compares to trying to shove a size sixteen lady into a size ten dress,” said Professor Sandy Cooper. “In short the CSI campus rejects the Pathways Project in its entirety.”
During a Town Hall meeting conducted by the Faculty on November 10th, The Pathways project took center stage, of 43 eligible voters 35 approved to go forward and create a resolution that would be forwarded to President Morales, who just happened to be on hand for the meeting.
The goal besides drafting up a Resolution was to alert the staff and make sure they fully understand Pathways,” said Professor Francisco Soto. “We set up an E-Mail account, drafted statements, and tried to be as fair and objective as possible.”
The resolutions from every Campus on CUNY were due on the 15th of November to CUNY headquarters inManhattan. The Task Force’s report with recommendations will be forwarded to Chancellor Goldstein on December 1st, with an announcement of the end result follow shortly after.
The ongoing trend throughout the meeting was The CSI board of directors, including President Morales, objecting to most of the resolutions and recommendations made by the Faculty, to the point that a shouting match ensued, when on of CSI’s Deans stood up and demanded that he not be pushed around by the Faculty as a whole. 
After things calmed down, an interesting question came from the back of the room. “What is General Education,” The staff member said. “Will our students take in the entire college experience while enrolled here, or is this just a College that just prints out degrees for those who pay the bill?”
Some in attendance felt that CUNY’s Pathways proposals pace was too fast, given the staff at CSI only a short amount of time to revamp their whole curriculum from scratch, without fully sorting things out properly.
“The new curriculum would be watered down, eliminating several foundation courses, including some arts, sciences and history courses,” said in a letter to the Staff but the Board of trustees. “It would be a robbery to our students to not expose them to all that we offer here at CSI.”
Those going for their Bachelor’s degree will be required to fulfill the General education requirements, plus an additional 12 credits, the minimum of 60 credits is still required for an Associates and 120 credits is still needed to graduate with a bachelor’s. Those who require more information can go to the CUNY website, under Pathways Proposal.
“The Pathway Project is not educationally sound,” was the common response from several staff members. “We must do right by the student body and the College of Staten Island.”

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Tennessee Titan found dead in front of old high school

Tennessee Titans wide receiver O.J. Murdock was found dead Monday morning in front of the Tampa high school he graduated from, according to the Tampa Police Department.

He was 25 years old.According to a news release distributed by the Tampa police, Orenthal James Murdock was found in his car at approximately 8:30 a.m. in front of Middleton High School.

He had suffered an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and was transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition.

Murdock was pronounced dead at 10:43 a.m.

After Murdock failed to report to the Titans’ training camp last week, coach Mike Munchak said Murdock had been excused for “personal reasons.”

No details have emerged of the issues that Murdock was dealing with.

An undrafted free agent who signed with the Titans last year, Murdock was forced to sit out the entire season with an Achilles injury.

Murdock began his college career at South Carolina,  playing two years, prior to transferring to Fort Hays State, playing his final two collegiate years.

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New York Jets All Pro Nick Mangold ready to go after attending London Olympics

Staten Island N.Y.–No bond is closer than the one that is between a person and their siblings.

So imagine how New York Jets all pro center Nick Mangold felt when he was able to attend this years Olympics in London to watch his sister Holley compete in the in the super-heavyweight division in weight lifting.

Even though the female Mangold placed tenth, Brother Nick was proud none the less.

 London was great,” said Nick Mangold. “Holley did great, battled through injury, and finished tenth in the world, (I) can’t argue with that. I’m very proud of her.”

It took allot to get Mangold to Londonas he did not want to let his teammates down heading into the beginning of Jets training camp in CortlandNew York.

“Rex Ryan has always been pushing (me).  There was never a desire not to go. I wanted to go, but I didn’t want to leave my teammates (behind),” Mangold said. “I’ve been talking to the guys and getting their blessings. That, with Rex and the desire to go, mixed all (of) those together.”

Holley hoisted 105 kilograms (231 pounds) in the snatch, but hurt her hand in the process.

She described to reporters how the injury occurred (via ESPN.com): “About two days before I left forLondon, I tore a tendon in my hand catching the clean wrong, and I think I restore it again today.”

Mangold received the blessing of his fellow teammates prior to hopping on a plane.

“Yeah, Rex can tell me it’s okay to go, but if all 90 guys are staring at me with disgust, that’s not a good thing. I wanted to clarify with them first.”

Many worried that traveling would affect Mangold’s physical state once he returned to action Tuesday, but Gang Green’s center appears to be in tip top shape and ready to go.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I got back a little later than I wanted to. I was hoping to be back here Tuesday but to do that, it wouldn’t have been a smart idea to drive back from Newark(New Jersey),” said Mangold. “So I tried to play it safe. But for 16 hours on a plane and eight hours driving I’m feeling pretty good.”

It was fantastic, it was a great experience. (I’m) very proud of her, she fought through injuries. She finished tenth in the world, (you) can’t be mad at that. Now it’s good to be back banging around a little bit.”

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