Ron Burton Chas BrashearsGreendale, IN—Around 8 am on May 4, an early morning fire alarm at the Baymont Inn on East Eads Parkway led to the discovery of a possible drug ring operation in Greendale. Upon entering the room 318, which was the source of the alarm, Assistant Fire Chief Jeffery Lane alleges to have observed, in plain view, what he knew to be narcotics due to his training and experience as an EMT and law enforcement officer. Once police arrived, they immediately noticed a strong odor of marijuana. At that time suspects Chas Brashears, Timothy Fluegeman, and Destiny Billingsley were present and speaking with Chief Craig. The hotel room was registered to Daniel Widener.Inside the hotel room, investigators found partly burned marijuana cigarettes, syringes, and an orange cap containing a white powdery substance believed to be heroin. In addition, after a search warrant was executed, police officers found a large bag of green leafy, plant-like material, believed to be marijuana, weighing in excess of one (1) pound. They also found a white powdery substance, multiple syringes loaded with a brown liquid substance, a plastic bag containing numerous lime green pills consistent with Xanax, glass pipes, and a large amount of small zip-lock style bags that the officers know through their training to be used for the packaging and re-sale of drugs.Police learned during the investigation, that the hotel manager, Ron Burton, would bring individuals to whatever room Brashears or Widener were staying in to purchase drugs.Daniel WidenerBrashears has been charged on allegations of two counts of Battery on a Public Safety Official, Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, and Possession of Marijuana in Excess of 30 Grams, Resisting Law Enforcement, and Conspiracy to Deal Methamphetamine over 10 Grams.Fluegeman was charged with Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, and Possession of Marijuana in Excess of 30 Grams.Daniel Widener and Ron Burton were both charged with Conspiracy to Deal Methamphetamine over 10 Grams.Destiny Billingsley was charged with Possession of a Schedule I Controlled Substance, Possession of a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, and Possession of Marijuana.
Hundreds of Los Angeles workers and community members gathered Wednesday in the neighborhood surrounding the University Park campus to rally for an increase in the minimum wage from $9 to $15.25 with enforcement provisions and paid sick leave.Part of a national effort, the demonstration, organized by the coalition Raise the Wage LA, was called “Fight for $15 on 4/15” and began in downtown Los Angeles early Wednesday morning. Around 11 a.m., workers made their way toward Figueroa Street and 28th Street. Many of the demonstrators were employees of McDonald’s and other businesses in the area. The event culminated in a final march to USC’s campus, down Trousdale Parkway to Tommy Trojan, where supporters chanted before dispersing around 1 p.m.In addition to USC organizations and adjunct professors, participants included workers from across Los Angeles County representing faith-based organizations, nonprofits, unions and grassroots campaigns. These included large union groups such as the Service Employees International Union and We Care LA.Michael Green, the regional director of SEIU, helped organize the demonstration. He said that similar events were occurring throughout the country.“Today is a special day,” Green said. “As you realize, it’s 4/15/15 — fight for $15 on 15. Not only are we doing this here; we’re doing it in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Seattle — all the major cities.”Green said the demonstrators come from a wide variety of backgrounds.“We have people of different ethnicities, with different interests from San Gabriel Valley to San Fernando Valley, to South Central L.A. and all the way to Harbor City and Wilmington and the Pacific Palisades,” Green said. “We’re all here together: L.A. County workers from custodians to parks and recreations workers to social workers, nurses, support services, clerical units. Everybody is here together.”Currently, USC workers make an average of $18,800 annually, A recent amendment to the USC Hospitality and Auxiliary Services contract has increased their wages by 75 cents.Wednesday’s rally comes as the Los Angeles City Council is considering a proposal to raise the minimum wage in the city to $13.25 by 2017 or $15.25 to 2019.Opponents of such an increase warn that it could potentially harm small businesses and nonprofits, especially those with small profit margins.Green lauded the supportive role non-tenure track faculty played in the rally. Faculty Forward, a national “grass roots” awareness effort meant to highlight the conditions of part-time faculty under SEIU, was also present at the demonstration.“We have been engaged with some of the faculty here that have expressed interest and asked for help in making sure that we can create a pathway for their future and create a gateway for our own.”He also explained that all of the demonstrators had the desire to display their common sentiment towards wages.“We wanted to make a statement that we’re all in this together,” Green said. “Whether it [be] adjunct professors, with the disparity and inconsistency of them having no job protection and having to survive on inadequate wages, whether it’s McDonald’s workers, or the Los Angeles County workers, or any other workers in Los Angeles that are trying to survive and pay rent and make less than $15 an hour.”Green closed his remarks by explaining that the rally was an act of brining workers together.“Our action is going to speak for us … we’re all in this together,” he said. “We want to take away poverty wage and replace them with living wages.”
Ernest Hemingway often referred to the valley of Val Trebbia in Northern Italy as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Massive green trees dot the valley, while the crystal clear Trebbia River flows slowly through the basin. In this valley sits a small town named Rivergaro, with roughly 7,000 inhabitants. Twice a year, USC sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola returns to her hometown to relax with her family.Italy’s best · Sophomore setter Alice Pizzasegola has racked up 513 assists and 91 digs thus far. Head coach Mick Haley noticed Pizzasegola after the native of Rivergaro, Italy, sent highlight tapes to several NCAA programs. – Matthew Woo | Daily Trojan Pizzasegola fell in love with the river and would do anything she could to stay in the water.“I think it is my habitat. I can stay in the water for hours and just relax there,” Pizzasegola said. “Every time I see a swimming pool, I just have to jump in it.”At the age of four, Pizzasegola enrolled in a swimming club called Nuotatori Piacentini. She competed for seven years until she realized that she didn’t like competing against the clock. She still loves to swim, but at the age of 10 she found her true calling: volleyball.Today, Pizzasegola is a sophomore setter for the USC women’s volleyball team. Already a two-year starter, she has come a long way from her Italian home.As a little girl, Pizzasegola met former All-American Stanford volleyball player Ogonna Nnamani, who told Pizzasegola to go to the United States after high school to study and play volleyball. Pizzasegola was skeptical and had no idea what would be in store for her.During her last year of high school, her father asked her about heading overseas. Though this caught her off guard, her dad pushed a little bit, and Pizzasegola started to consider the idea of coming to the United States for college.Since she was an international student, the recruiting process was extremely difficult. Few college coaches in the United States traveled to Italy to watch her play, so Pizzasegola had to create recruiting videos, send them to colleges and hope that someone liked what they saw.With a little bit of luck after a setter quit the team, USC had an opening and head coach Mick Haley quickly sent associate head coach Tim Nollan and his wife to Italy to scout Pizzasegola.“[Nollan] thought she could work into a very good player for us and was a very good team player,” Haley said. “She also really wanted an education in the United States.”One night, Pizzasegola received a call from Nollan offering her a scholarship to USC. Soon after, she moved halfway around the world to Los Angeles.Not knowing anyone in the United States, she roomed with fellow freshman teammates Elise Ruddins, Ebony Nwanebu and Taylor Whittingham. On her first night, Pizzasegola went to sleep early because she was jetlagged while the others went out. They returned home with McDonald’s and woke up Pizzasegola. She walked into the kitchen and yelled her first English word to her teammates — nuggets. The nickname has stuck with her.The next three months would be the hardest she ever faced. Living in a dorm room and feeling homesick, Pizzasegola contemplated returning home to be with her parents and her brother, Filippo. But she found comfort in the gym with her new family, the USC women’s volleyball team.Being in the States for such a short time, Pizzasegola spoke very little English and had to pick up the language quickly in order to communicate with her teammates on the court. It was difficult for her to learn before an unlikely hero came to her rescue.“Graduate manager Umberto Gatti is also from Italy, and he could speak fluent Italian with her and got us over the hump,” Haley said. “Umberto [Gatti] was critical in this process because he made her comfortable every day. When she couldn’t understand the English slang he would fill her in and point her in the right direction.”As she began to learn the language, Pizzasegola became the second setter in USC’s 6-2 offense. During her freshman year she accumulated 701 assists and did what she always wanted to do — contribute.This thought finally occurred to Pizzasegola in last year’s regional final game against No. 3 Washington.“It was the biggest game ever,” Pizzasegola said. “I waited my entire life to play in a game like that, and I thought, ‘I am going to play in the most important game of my life.’ We lost, but afterwards I realized I made it. I was still crying but I knew I made it with my teammates, my coaches and by myself.”Even after that tough loss, what has never faltered on the court has been her attitude. While playing the sport she loves, she can be seen smiling, jumping around after a great play and always staying positive. Her teammates notice and admire her positive attitude.“She is a strong girl, and she always has fight in her, which is something I really admire,” Ruddins said. “No matter what point it is in the game, she always has that fire in her, and she is so supportive.”Though this season has not gone exactly the way the Women of Troy wanted it to, Pizzasegola has kept her positivity throughout. She still believes that her team can win a National Championship. So far this season, Pizzasegola has 513 assists and 91 digs.There is no doubt that Pizzasegola has pushed through obstacles in her life and come out stronger because of them, and always with a smile wide across her face.