Top 5 stories for March 8-12

DKS Editors

1. Barker pleads not guilty to murder charge in Kernich case

Adrian A. Barker, 21, of Akron pleaded not guilty this week to two counts of murder, stemming from a November assault on Kent State student Christopher Kernich.

In his arraignment Wednesday, Barker also pleaded not guilty to one count each of assault, tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. The arraignment will continue at 9 a.m. April 8.

Barker and Ronald G. Kelly, 20, of Akron allegedly assaulted Kernich, a junior pre-business management major, in the early-morning hours of Nov. 15. Kernich died Nov. 21.

Kelly was also indicted on three more counts of misdemeanor assault this week for allegedly assaulting three more Kent State students on the night of Kernich’s assault.

2. LGBTQ center opens at Kent State

Kent State’s new lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer center opened yesterday afternoon at the Student Center.

The university held a grand opening for the center from 4 to 6 p.m. yesterday in Room 204 of the Student Center. The center’s location is in room 226M.

“We will be working very hard on making it work, piece-by-piece, day-by-day,” PRIDE!Kent President Max Harrington said. “We are excited that it is actually here.”

Kent State President Lester Lefton, Alfreda Brown, vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion, and Sue Doerfer, executive director of Equality Ohio, all attended the ceremony.

3. Men’s basketball clinches MAC title

The Kent State men’s basketball team clinched the regular-season Mid-American Conference title with a 74-61 victory Friday over Akron.

Senior forward Anthony Simpson scored 23 points as the Flashes (23-8, 13-3 MAC) overcame Akron’s “whiteout” promotion, overwhelming their archrival.

“To win a conference championship, you’ve got to win on the road,” Kent State coach Geno Ford said. “I thought we played really well, and they were not great in the first half, and that was the difference.”

4. Some university properties show neglect

Four off-campus properties owned by the university are showing signs of neglect and vandalism.

Crime has also occurred at some of the properties, which include five houses, a former bar on Depeyster Street and the former Record Courier office on Erie Street.

A police report filed in October describes an incident in the yard of 214 S. Willow St. as “Rape — substantially impair judgment.”

Tom Euclide, Kent State’s associate vice president for facilities planning and operations, said the university’s plans for the properties are indefinite. He said he was unaware of the incidents.

5. Pierce to lead next year’s USG

After a voter turnout nearly double of last year’s, Justin Pierce was elected executive director for next year’s Undergraduate Student Government.

Pierce scored 1,092 votes, beating out his opponent, Matthew Gustoff, by 363 votes. Overall, a total of 2,309 students voted in the election, topping last year’s total of 1,387.

Overall, 18 senators and directors were elected Tuesday. An additional seven positions will be appointed.