RIT Bear Found Dead
The black bear that visited RIT last October was hit by a car and killed the weekend of Dec. 19. On Oct. 15, the Friday of RIT’s Brick City Homecoming, this young bear caused a ruckus after being found in the Sol Heumann Hall (SHH, 47) quad.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation tranquilized the bear and brought it to the Finger Lakes Community College East Hill campus in Naples, N.Y., where he was released.
The DEC fitted the cub with a radio collar so he could be tracked.
Unfortunately, the bear was found dead near Arkport, N.Y., in western Steuben County late last month. A DEC biologist said the bear had traveled about 20 miles from and had gained 20 to 30 pounds since it was released. According to the biologist, the driver who hit the bear obtained permission to keep the body, possibly so he could stuff it.
The bear has a fan-made Facebook profile with over 750 friends who have filled his wall with final goodbyes.
Comcast-NBC Merger Closer to Fruition
The proposed merger of media company NBC Universal and content provider Comcast is one step closer to completion. Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, composed a draft order of approving the merger on Dec. 23, but only if certain conditions are met by both companies. They would need to allow television shows to be broadcast on competing cable and telecommunications outlets, including web platforms such as Netflix and Hulu, and Google and Apple TV.
The Justice Department is also investigating the proposed merger for antitrust issues. There are concerns regarding competition and internet television. As part of the agreement, the merged companies may be required to share NBC content with internet-based outlets like YouTube and Roku if other networks are doing so.
Comcast has stated that it does not have a reason to withhold content from rivals for it would be “bad for business.”
The order was given to the other members of the FCC; it’s expected to be voted on sometime in January.
Election Fracas in the Ivory Coast
President Laurent Gbagbo of West African nation Ivory Coast lost the election but isn’t stepping down. In November, Alassane Ouattara was elected as the new president, but Gbagbo has not acknowledged his own defeat. The African Union and the United Nations recognized Ouattara as the winner.
The UN says that over 170 Ivorians have died from fighting caused by the election, which was supposed to bring peace to a country that fought a civil war eight years ago.
Gbagbo told France’s “Le Figaro” newspaper that attempts to forcibly remove him could start a war in the already troubled West African nation. He also accused France and the United States of plotting to remove him from power.
"Spider-Man" Musical Hits Another Roadblock
The much-hyped musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” suffered another setback when its leading actress left the production after the Dec. 20 show. Natalie Mendoza, cast as Arachne, suffered a concussion from a backstage accident. Her role requires her to fly over the audience and perform acrobatics, making the chances of injury high.
During the show’s first preview on Nov. 28, Mendoza was hit by a weighted rope backstage, resulting in the concussion. She returned for the Dec. 15 show but took a leave of absence five days later. In the same show, Christopher Tierney, the primary stunt double for Spider-Man, fell off a platform due to an improperly attached safety tether. The show was stopped, and he was taken to the hospital for injuries including broken ribs and internal bleeding.
This was the fourth injury of a performer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the New York State Department of Labor are investigating the production’s safety practices.
The production is valued at over $60 million, a figure more characteristic of Hollywood than Broadway. The “New York Post” said that the show would have a weekly running cost of $1 million and would need to run for 8,000 years in order for it to break even, an estimate made when the production cost was at $40 million.