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Questions swirl about live-in adult adviser’s role in Piazza death

As the saga surrounding the death of Penn State fraternity pledge Tim Piazza continues to unfold, a key question lingers.

What responsibility should be assigned to Tim Bream, the 56-year-old athletic trainer and live-in fraternity adviser who was, by all accounts, at the Beta Theta Pi house the night prosecutors say Piazza was forced to drink himself to the point of stumbling incoherence, a state that led to his death in a series of falls.

While Bream has escaped criminal charges in the case, Piazza’s parents and defense attorneys for some fraternity members argue it defies logic that Bream wasn’t aware of the drinking – including a “gauntlet” where students raced from station to station consuming alcohol.

And if he didn’t know, they ask, as adviser to the fraternity, shouldn’t he have?

“If he didn’t know that there was a party going on, he’s either incompetent or incredible,” said William J. Brennan, a lawyer for Joseph Ems Jr., a Philadelphia student who has been charged with reckless endangerment in the case. “It’s reminiscent of the scene in Casablanca where authorities are shocked that there’s gambling at Rick’s Cafe. It certainly would seem to warrant further investigation.”

Mark Wallheiser

Skepticism from other defense attorneys came earlier this month during a preliminary hearing for 18 fraternity members charged in Piazza’s death.

Frank Fina, attorney for fraternity President Brendan Young, noted a text message included in the grand jury presentment that said it was “Tim’s idea” to delete an online chat about the pledge event, where a drunk Piazza plunged down fraternity stairs and was left to languish for nearly 12 hours before members called for emergency help.

Also at the hearing, Steven Trialonis, an attorney for pledge master Daniel Casey, questioned Bream’s knowledge of the Feb. 2 party and other alcohol events at the fraternity.

Neither Fina or Trialonis returned calls to elaborate.

Bream, a 1983 Penn State graduate and Beta Theta Pi fraternity alumnus, declined to comment, citing the advice of his attorney.

“It has always been the belief of the Piazzas that Tim Bream is a culpable party and shares responsibility for the death of their son,” said Tom Kline, the attorney for Jim and Evelyn Piazza, accountants from Lebanon, N.J. “Our knowledge of his role continues to evolve as questions are asked.”

Abby Drey / Centre Daily Times

Centre County prosecutors have said Bream, a former Chicago Bears head trainer, bears no criminal culpability in Piazza’s death, though he was in the large, rambling fraternity house the night of the party. District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said when announcing charges in May, that Bream reported he was in his room, a suite on the second floor, during the alcohol part of the event.

Bream does not appear on video surveillance footage obtained from the house, the prosecution has said. Prosecutors also said there was no evidence that fraternity members consulted him about Piazza’s condition.

Douglas E. Fierberg, a Washington, D.C., based lawyer who has been involved in litigating fraternity cases, questioned how Bream could be unaware, given the duration of the event.

“Having undertaken those types of responsibilities, it’s too cute by half to stick your head in the sand and say over such an extensive period of time when misconduct was taking place I neither knew of the circumstances nor had a reasonable opportunity to inform myself about what was going on, such that I could have intervened and saved this young person’s life,” Fierberg said. “Otherwise, it’s pathetic for a 56-year-old to be living in a fraternity house.”

The prosecution’s lack of interest in Bream hasn’t dissuaded Kline and the Piazzas, who have asked Penn State to fire Bream as assistant athletic director and head trainer for the football team.

He remains employed.

“The university is investigating all aspects of what occurred at the Beta Theta Pi house,” university spokeswoman Lisa Powers said. “Student conduct and personnel matters are confidential.”

Bream’s advisory role with Beta Theta Pi was not connected to his job at Penn State, Powers said. Rather, it was a private arrangement with the fraternity’s housing corporation alumni board.

Michael Leahey, who represents the fraternity’s housing corporation, declined to comment on Bream’s employment or responsibilities.

Powers said Bream, a Gettysburg native who was with the Bears for nearly 20 years, took the adviser post in fall 2016. He was hired by Penn State in 2012.

A spokesman for the national Beta Theta Pi fraternity office said it was not involved in employing Bream.

Penn State officials have said they were not aware of similar situations where older adults lived in fraternity houses. But Heather Kirk, chief communication officer for the North American Inter-fraternity Conference, said it does happen elsewhere.

“Many fraternities have live-in advisors, which are sometimes referred to as house directors, house mothers/fathers or residential advisors,” she said. “Their roles range from overseeing meal plans to managing facility maintenance to mentoring.”

Responsibilities of live-in advisers vary from campus to campus, said Ryan O’Rourke, executive director of the Fort Collins, Colo. based Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values, which provides training to adults serving as advisers or directors.
Live-in advisers, while not responsible for student behavior, sometimes have a role in “attempting to have influence on student behavior,” he said.

Abby Drey

Kline said the Piazzas hope that the district attorney will consider charges against Bream as more information becomes available.

Fina’s questioning about Bream centered on events after emergency workers took Tim Piazza, a sophomore engineering major, to the hospital on Feb. 3. Piazza later died of a head injury, ruptured spleen and collapsed lung. The attorney referred to a text message included in the Grand Jury presentment from fraternity member Ed Gilmartin III to member Lars Kenyon concerning deleting GroupMe chat groups about the bid party.

“…It’s just so people don’t get screen shots or anything that could leak to the media,” Gilmartin wrote to Kenyon. “Tim’s idea, as a precaution.”

Fina asked State College Police Detective Dave Scicchitano who “Tim” referred to, and the detective said that Kenyon believed it to be Bream.

“If those facts bear out, then he aided and abetted in the cover up,” Kline said, referring to Bream.

Abby Drey

Parks Miller did not return a call for comment, but she told Penn Live after the hearing that she considered the text message “double hearsay.”

“We have other evidence that he (Bream) told them (the Beta brothers) to cooperate fully with the police,” Parks Miller told PennLive, “so to us there was no basis to believe there was probable cause liability there.”

On the third day of the hearing, Trialonis asked Scicchitano if Bream had told him that Casey, his client, had asked Bream for permission to hold the pledge party or that fraternity members commonly asked Bream for permission to hold events where drinking occurred. Scicchitano answered “no” to both questions.

Kline and the Piazzas maintain that Bream had to have known about the alcohol parties and the pledge event that led to Piazza’s death.

“He couldn’t be living in that house without knowing,” Kline charged. “The logical inference from the facts already known and the representation made by the defense counsel for Casey is that he turned a blind eye to it.”

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15-year-old faces adult charges of trying to rob, kill man at Fairview Heights apartments – Belleville News

One of two then 14-year-olds accused of shooting a man in the head during an armed robbery in February will face adult charges of attempted first-degree murder.

The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office has filed the attempted murder charge and armed robbery charges against Nemus Parks, now 15.

State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly on Friday said Parks is the youngest juvenile he has charged as an adult. Cathy MacElroy, Parks’ attorney, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Parks and another teen are accused of shooting Daniel Meitzenheimer, 21, in the forehead with a handgun as he sat in the driver’s seat of his car parked at Longacre Ponds Luxury Apartments on Feb. 7.

After Meitzenheimer was shot, the car sped out of control, eventually hitting a large landscape rock. Parks and the other 14-year-old then dragged him from the car and to the back of one of the apartment buildings, police have said.

A witness told police they heard one of the attackers say, “Check his pockets.”

Police have said they suspect the teens were buying drugs, then tried to rob Meitzenheimer of drugs and cash. During the course of the robbery, the man was shot.

Because Parks was only 14 when the shooting happened, Kelly had discretion whether to charge Parks as an adult or a juvenile. Among the factors that prosecutors are to consider:

▪  the seriousness of the offense;

▪  whether there is evidence the offense was committed in an aggressive and premeditated manner;

▪  whether there is evidence the offense caused serious bodily harm;

▪  whether there is evidence the minor possessed a deadly weapon; and

▪  whether the security of the public requires an adult sentence.

After the trial, the judge or jury will have to find whether Parks is guilty or not guilty. If they find him guilty, they must make additional findings for sentencing. If a firearm is used to commit an attempted murder, then the minimum sentence is 35 years. If a judge or jury finds Parks personally fired the weapon, then the minimum sentence is 40 years. If the judge or jury finds that an attempted murder caused great bodily harm, then the minimum sentence is 45 years.

In juvenile court, the maximum sentence is incarceration until the juvenile’s 21st birthday.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court found that defendants younger than 18, even if convicted in adult court, could not be sentenced to life in prison.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote that a life sentence for someone younger than 18 was cruel and unusual punishment.

“It prevents taking into account the family and home environment that surrounds him and from which he cannot usually extricate himself no matter how brutal or dysfunctional,” Kagan wrote.

The other 14-year-old’s case proceeded in juvenile court. Records from juvenile court are not available to the public.

Information about Meitzenheimer’s condition was not immediately available Friday, but when asked four days after the shooting, authorities said he had not yet regained consciousness.

Meitzenheimer also is facing unrelated charges in St. Clair County: aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing from police. Details of the allegations in those charges, which were filed months before Meitzenheimer was shot, were not available Friday.

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Plae Shoes Debuts Adult Line With Whimsical Interstellar-Themed Runway Show

plae, shoes, children, kids, adults, runway,
View Slideshow

San Francisco-based lifestyle brand Plae held a fashion show that was out of this world.

The children’s footwear label debuted its first adult line along with presenting its fall ’17 interstellar-themed kids’ collection on Saturday.

plae, shoes, children, kids, adults, runway, plae on the runwayPlae presented its interstellar-themed fall ’17 children’s collection and debuted its first adult line.
Courtesy of Plae/Drew Alitzer

Some of the styles that hit the runway included slick details inspired by the cosmos, including reflective suede and artsy galaxylike waves. Color palettes incorporated plenty of black with bursts of starry and bright neon hues. Outsoles also featured bold, whimsical patterns and color treatments.

Many of the youngsters who modeled the new wares embraced the theme from head to toe, wearing edgy outfits that had metallic, PVC and glittery materials.

plae, shoes, children, kids, adults, runway, plae on the runwayPlae presented its interstellar-themed fall ’17 children’s collection and debuted its first adult line.
Courtesy of Plae/Drew Alitzer

The runway show and collection nodded the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong (commander), Buzz Aldrin (lunar module pilot) and Michael Collins (command module pilot) landed the the first manned spacecraft on the moon.

Plae’s adult collection will be available in the fall.

plae, shoes, children, kids, adults, runway, plae on the runwayPlae presented its interstellar-themed fall ’17 children’s collection and debuted its first adult line.
Courtesy of Plae/Drew Alitzer

Click through the gallery to see more of Plae’s fall ’17 styles from the runway.

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Adult Open and Capital City Wheelchair tennis classics combine at new Woods facility

Inside the new Woods Tennis Center are (from left) Nate Hoppe, Lincoln Adult Open 2016 champion and tennis trainer at Woods; Carmen Grant, president, Friends of Woods Foundation and former Lincoln Adult Open champion; Lydell Otley, charter member of the Cornhusker Wheelchair Athletic Association and longtime tennis player; and Kevin Heim, executive director, Woods Tennis Center.

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Teen charged in fatal prom night crash agrees to transfer to adult court

SALT LAKE CITY — An 18-year-old boy facing charges for a car crash that killed two of his friends after prom agreed Friday to have his case transferred to the adult system, where he is expected to take a plea deal.

Gage Moore, 18, waived an evidence hearing Friday in Monticello and agreed to have his case transferred from the juvenile system in order to spare the families of the victims and his own family a series of painful hearings, according to his attorney, Walter Bugden.

As the case moves forward, Moore is prepared to accept responsibility for the crash that killed two of his friends and injured two others, his attorney said.

“He feels terrible, he feels personally responsible for this terrible tragedy,” Bugden said. “This is very hard for Mr. Moore, he recognizes this is his fault.”

Moore was driving early on the morning of March 5, just hours after Grand County High School’s prom, when his vehicle rolled several times just south of Ken’s Lake on La Sal Loop Road after taking a turn too fast, police said. Three of the five occupants were ejected.

Taylor Bryant, 14, and Connor Denney, 16, were pronounced dead at the scene after being ejected. Daniel McCrary, 17, was also ejected and taken by medical helicopter to a hospital in critical condition. Tierney DeMille, 14, was also seriously injured.

Two search warrant affidavits filed earlier this year revealed Moore was believed to have been driving more than 80 mph in a 40 mph zone, and that first responders at the scene of the crash could smell alcohol on Moore.

Police said Moore had been drinking at a party, and while the five teens hadn’t been together that night, they all ultimately ended up in Moore’s vehicle. DeMille and McCrary had not been drinking, according to police.

Moore is scheduled to appear Aug. 14 before 7th District Judge Lyle Moore, where Bugden said the 18-year-old will plead guilty to two counts of automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, and two counts of reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.

Mourners hold vigil honoring teens killed in southern Utah crash

About 150 students gathered on the football field of Grand County High School on Wednesday to mourn the deaths of two teenagers killed in a crash over the weekend.

In exchange, additional charges against Moore will be dismissed. In addition to the automobile homicide charges, Moore was originally charged with two counts of DUI resulting in serious injury, a third-degree felony; and reckless driving and possession of alcohol by a minor, class B misdemeanors.

A separate case against Moore alleging sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony, and lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor, were also dismissed as part of the plea deal. Details about what those charges stem from have not been released.

No sentencing agreements were made as part of the deal. Bugden said psychological and risk evaluations that have been done for Moore will be presented to the judge before the sentencing hearing, which anticipates will recommend “some punishment but not prison.”

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McKenzie Romero

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Update: Endangered Missing Adult Alert canceled for man with – Fox 8

EUCLID, Ohio — The Euclid Police Department and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have canceled an “Endangered Missing Adult Alert” for a man with a “mental impairment” who left his home.

Euclid Police say William Bonner, 21, walked away from his house on Lake Shore Boulevard around 6 p.m. Wednesday. By early Thursday, he had not yet returned home.

Bonner is said to have a “mental impairment” and police said they were concerned for his safety.

At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, the alert was canceled after Mr.Bonner was safely located.

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17-year-old boy charged as adult in suspected gang-related … – The Register

SPRINGFIELD — A 17-year-old Springfield youth has been charged as an adult in a Wednesday night shooting outside the Bungalow Market that’s believed to be gang-related, according to Springfield police.

Consavi Gavin Savath is charged with Measure 11 first-degree assault, as well as fourth-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The victim, a 23-year-old man, turned up at McKenzie-­Willamette Medical Center about 40 minutes after the shooting with a gunshot wound to the upper thigh, police said. His condition was not available Thursday.

The incident started about 8 p.m., when several people in the area called police to report gunshots in the parking lot of the market on E Street.

Police said two groups of people — teens and young adults — were arguing in the parking lot.

Savath had arrived with one of the groups but had gone inside the store, holding a baby, before the dispute began, police said.

Savath handed the child to a woman in the store, who was also with his group, and went out to the parking lot, police said. It was there that Savath pulled out a concealed handgun and began shooting at the other group, they said.

The groups scattered, and Savath allegedly continued to fire at the group, following them behind the market and into nearby Meadow Park, police said. A youth league baseball coach tried to inter­vene, and Savath allegedly punched the coach.

Savath and members of his group eventually got into a vehicle and sped away from the area, police said. A witness took a photo of Savath in the passenger seat of the vehicle and posted it on social media, which led to Savath’s arrest.

Police said they believe the incident was gang-­related and are asking anyone with information to call 541-726-3714.

Under the Measure 11 mandatory mimimum sentencing law passed in 1994, first-degree assault carries a minimum sentence of 7½ years if Savath is convicted.

Follow Chelsea on Twitter @ChelseaDeffenB . Email .


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Adult weight gain linked to major chronic diseases

(Reuters Health) – The weight that Americans typically gain between ages 20 and 50 may raise their risk of developing cancer, heart disease and other major illnesses, according to a new study.

Even those who only gained 10 pounds faced a higher risk of major chronic diseases and aging poorly, the study authors report in JAMA.

“In the past, most focus has been put on people who are already obese and how they should lose weight. The problem is that people don’t become obese overnight,” said senior study author Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“Americans start to gain weight in early adulthood and put on a small amount each year, such as a half pound or pound, which adds up in the long-term,” Hu told Reuters Health in a phone interview. “Then it’s difficult to lose weight and maintain that lost weight. That’s why prevention is extremely important.”

The researchers analyzed data from two large studies that followed nearly 93,000 U.S. women and more than 25,000 U.S. men over decades. Participants reported what their weights had been in young adulthood – at age 18 for women and age 21 for men – and again at age 55.

The study team then tracked health changes after age 55, including the development of various diseases, cognitive decline and physical limitations associated with aging.

Women gained an average of 28 pounds over 37 years, and men put on an average 21 pounds over 34 years. Consistently across both genders, those who gained more weight were more likely to be physically inactive, non-smokers, have unhealthy diets and have more chronic diseases by the time they were in their 50s.

About one in five women and one in three men were considered to be aging healthily in their 70s.

Compared to people who stayed close to their youthful weight, those who gained just 5.5 to 22 pounds (2.5 kg to 10 kg) had nearly double the risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as 38 percent higher risk of gallstones and 9 percent to 25 percent increased risk for hypertension, heart disease and cancer.

People who gained 22 to 44 pounds (10 kg to 20 kg) had a quadrupled risk of developing type 2 diabetes, doubled risk of developing gallstones and 30 percent to 60 percent increased risk of hypertension, heart disease and an obesity-related cancer.

Gaining more than 44 pounds (20 kg) was tied to 10 times the odds of hypertension, three times the odds of gallstones and twice the heart disease risk of people who had stayed at the same weight.

“The overall results were not surprising because we know that excess weight gain is associated with many consequences, but the moderate weight gain statistics were sobering,” Hu said. “Most people gain more than 20 pounds, so this is a wake-up call for people.”

Each 10-pound increase in weight gain was associated with 17 percent reduction in the odds of aging healthily.

“The good news about the obesity battle is that we’re seeing plateaus and decreases in children, but the bad news is we’re still seeing increases in adulthood,” said Dr. William Dietz of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who wrote a commentary accompanying the study.

Dietz suggested turning toward workplaces to implement healthy living strategies and cut down on daytime snacking. Since most Americans spend their daytime hours at a workplace and since many workplaces bear the healthcare costs associated with absenteeism and lost productivity, corporations could make a big impact, he said. Targeting families could be another effective avenue, too, he added.

“The bottom line is that weight gain during adulthood is not benign,” Dietz said. “With all of these adverse health consequences, we need to find ways to help adults prevent weight gain.”

SOURCE: and JAMA, online July 18, 2017.

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Parenting adult children in the ‘boomerang’ years

Dr. Heins is a pediatrician, parent, grandparent, great-step grandparent, and the founder and CEO of She welcomes your individual parenting questions. Email for a professional, personal, private, and free answer to your questions.

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2 children, 1 adult shot on West Side | WGN-TV – WGN

CHICAGO – Three people, including two small children, were shot on Chicago’s West Side.

The children and a 27-year-old man  were shot during a drive by shooting in the 5500 block of W Van Buren around 4 p.m., according to police.

The victims were transported by a resident to the hospital. The man is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the chest.

The girl, who is 4-years-old, was shot in the leg.  The boy, who is 7-years-old, suffered a graze wound to the leg.

This is a developing story.  Check back for updates.

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