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Through May 16: Exhibit considers Hanford residents

Hanfords Voice Exhibit poster
Hanfords Voice Exhibit poster

WSU history graduate students studying the oral histories of the Hanford Site have created an exhibit of its labor force and residents, running through May 16 in the atrium exhibit case of Terrell Library at WSU Pullman.

“Hanford’s Voices: Exploring Labor at Hanford Through the Stories of its Residents” pulled together students from the Vancouver, Tri-Cities and Pullman campuses enrolled in History 528, “Seminar in Public History,” according to course participant and history master’s student Robert Franklin.

To create the exhibit, the students relied on the Hanford History Partnership, which has collected narratives of the men and women who lived in the area before 1943 and who worked at the Hanford Site after.

Learn more about the exhibit

Anthropologist discovers clues to first Americans

Brian Kemp
Brian Kemp

For more than a decade, WSU molecular anthropologist Brian Kemp has teased out the ancient DNA of goose and salmon bones from Alaska, human remains from North and South America and human coprolites—ancient poop—from Oregon and the American Southwest.

His aim: use genetics as yet another archaeological record offering clues to the identities of ancient people and how they lived and moved across the landscape.

As head of the team studying the DNA of Naia, an adolescent girl who fell into a Yucatan sinkhole some 12,000 years ago, he has now helped illuminate the origins of the first people to inhabit the Americas and their possible connection to native people today.

“It’s incredible to make such a discovery,” said Kemp, an associate professor in WSU’s Department of Anthropology. “It is an honor to be able to use the skills I have acquired to address classic questions about the entrance of humans into the Americas.”

Find out more about this breakthrough research at WSU News

Other sources:

Smithsonian
CBS News
Heritage Daily
The Spokesman-Review
The Yakima Herald-Republic
Science 2.0
The Seattle Times
Archeology News Report
Yahoo News
Red Orbit

Flyin’ high: WSU flag launched to record altitude in stratosphere

Ol' Crimson flying high
Ol’ Crimson flying high

The Washington State University flag has flown in many places around the world – from ESPN Game Day to the Great Wall of China – and now more than 18 miles into the stratosphere.

A Cougar flag attached to a weather balloon recently launched from the center of the Pullman campus reached nearly 100,000 feet, presumed to be a record-breaker for the WSU banner. The flight was part of a WSU Physics and Astronomy Club student project; now the flag is up for auction.

Read more at WSU News

Oakland, Calif., police enduring unprecedented overtime stretch

Bryan Vila
Bryan Vila

Without enough officers to respond to 911 calls and patrol streets, Oakland, Calif., has required police to work extra patrol shifts for the past 18 months—a duration that law enforcement experts say appears unprecedented and could threaten public safety.

The mandatory overtime requirement began in October 2012 and isn’t scheduled to end until next March when the department anticipates finally having enough officers to adequately staff the patrol division.

But mandatory overtime is typically reserved for disasters or short-term operations, said Bryan Vila, a WSU professor of criminal justice and criminology and former Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy who authored the book Tired Cops: The Importance of Managing Police Fatigue.

“I’ve never heard of mandatory overtime being used for longer than a year or so and even that is very long,” Vila said.

Too much overtime, especially in Oakland where police face the highest volume of 911 calls in the state, could leave officers fatigued, over-stressed and mistake prone, Vila said. “Your risk of critical incidents and vehicle crashes goes up,” he said. “Those cost a lot of money and so do the civil suits every time a police officer makes a mistake that is avoidable.”

Read more about police overtime

For WSU graduate, a photo op five years in the making

Almost there! 2014 Arts and Sciences undergraduates lining up for Commencement.
Arts and Sciences seniors line up for 2014 Commencement.

What got Freddy Reyes through the past five years was a mental image of himself wearing a cap and gown.

Like many college freshmen, the digital technology major had never been out on his own before coming to WSU in 2009. He had hopes of a better life, but sometimes wondered if he’d ever get there. There were times when he was homesick and thought about quitting, times when he considered postponing his college dream so he could get a job and help his family financially. His own finances were so thin he wasn’t sure he could go on.

But he kept picturing himself wearing that cap and gown on graduation day.

“I learned a lot about myself and what I’m capable of doing,” Reyes said, shortly after attending the last class of his undergraduate career and only days away from walking across the Beasley Coliseum stage. “There were tough times, but I never lost sight of what I came here to do.”

Read more about Reyes in The Lewiston Tribune (subscription required)