Chattanooga Mothers Against Gang Violence

By Katie Johnston

Caitlin-Johnston@mocs.utc.edu

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/TheLoop)- Heartache laced with passion filled the air on the steps of City Hall on Friday, as women gathered to show their support for the ones who have lost their lives in the daily battles that are fought in Chattanooga’s streets.

With hands clasped tight, they joined in song with an understanding among all peoples present that they were not only singing, but they were soulfully weeping for their own fallen heroes who they say too often get swept under the rug.

In 2010, Chattanooga was ranked 11 out of 20 U.S. cities with a population over 100,000 for the highest crime rate, ranking higher than Detroit and Atlanta.

Demetrus Coonrod stands on the steps of City Hall to show her support for the fight against gang violence in Chattanooga.

Angel Kellogg and Demetrus Coonrod, are both residents of East Dalewood and have been working together for years to help come up with a solution to end the gang violence in our inner city.

“I was put through so I could pull someone else out,” said Kellogg. “Some of these kids will stay in the gang until the day they die.”

Kellogg said the misconception that many people have is that they think the change is going to come once we can reform the schools and the students in the schools. “I’m not worried about the kids getting on the bus, they’re not the problem. The problem is the kids walking down the street, smoking weed and drinking liquor.”

Click here to listen to Angel Kellogg talk about gang violence

Even though Chattanooga has taken steps at trying to deter violence by enforcing curfews for minors, both Coonrod and Kellogg agree that the change has to start at the root of the problem- the parents.

“We are mothers of the earth and we have to teach and mold our children,” said Kellogg. “I just want Chattanooga to be a safe place like it used to be.”

To show your support in the fight against violence and receive information about upcoming events, you can visit their Facebook page at Mothers Against Gang Violence.

 

Sources:

  • Angel Kellogg
  • Demetrus Coonrod

Student Technology Survival Guide

It’s almost time for a new semester. Are you prepared to meet all the technological challenges waiting around the corner? Use this Student Technology Survival Guide to catch up, then get equipped to stay caught up!

By Jonathan Higdon
Jonathan-Higdon@mocs.utc.edu

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — It’s almost that time of year again. The holidays will soon be over, new calendars will be hung up on the walls, and resolutions will have been made—and broken—and we will be at the beginning of yet another semester. As the new school term begins, it might be a good idea to take a moment and evaluate the technological resources at your disposal—and as a student, those resources are virtually limitless.

Personal Computer

It’s safe to say that in the year 2011, most students are equipped with their own personal computer. However, the timeless debates of last decade still linger: desktop or laptop? Mac or PC? Everyone has his or her own opinions on these issues, but fortunately for the college crowd, most computer manufacturers have budget-friendly discounts for students and educators alike.

UTC students can order directly from manufacturers like Apple and Dell, but the University of Tennessee system has a computer store in Knoxville, which offers the same—if not better—discounts on technology. And this is not simply limited to personal computers, but includes software and accessories as well. The best part? UTC students don’t even have to travel to Knoxville. The Bookstore Technology Center will ship your purchases to Chattanooga.

Tablet PC

This is becoming a quickly growing market thanks to the popularity of the iPad. The emergence of competitors like Hewlett-Packard and Google have added further legitimacy to the market, and many students are adopting tablet PCs as alternatives to laptops for in-class electronic note taking.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab, a popular tablet computer.

As the iPad is currently the leader in tablet computing, many productivity application developers are focusing on the iPad’s iOS operating system. Several must-have apps for iPad-toting students include Pages for word processing, SketchBook Pro for drawing (much more practical than it sounds), and Dropbox for portable file management.

Media Player

Just a few years ago, an iPod would have been on the technology survival guide of any self-respecting collegiate news outlet. Thanks to the advent of the iPhone, the Android operating system, and now the Windows Phone 7, however, the iPod has gone the way of the Discman, the minidisc player, and the Walkman. Many students have traded in their scroll wheels for touch screens, opting for smart phones with media player capabilities instead of dedicated music or movie devices.

The HTC Surround, one of many new phones supporting the Windows Phone 7 operating system.

Like the iPad, an “iOS” device leads the smart phone market, and student iPhone users would be wise to take advantage of the iPhone counterparts to the SketchBook and Dropbox apps mentioned earlier. However, because the iPhone is not as viable an option for note taking as the iPad, it is important to explore other options. The Dragon Dictation app for the iPhone will transcribe recorded audio, and whereas its transcriptions might require a small amount of tweaking, the app works very well when no other means of note taking are available.

Calculator

I was surprised to learn that one of my friends was using her old TI-83+ from high school. Most of us remember these more for their game-playing ability than their power as a graphing calculator. However, the truth remains that graphing calculators still hold a place in a student’s backpack—even those of the more technology-savvy.

Most of the smart phones mentioned earlier include advanced calculator features—a far cry from the meager tip calculators found on cell phones from the early 2000s. There is almost no reason why a smart phone calculator would not be more than sufficient for an average college student, provided

  1. His or her professor does not object to calculating on the same device used to send and receive electronic messages
  2. He or she does not have to plot points or regression lines on a grid (but even then, one of many third-party apps can achieve the desired effect)
  3. He or she does not wish to play one of the many high-quality games popularized by the Texas Instruments platform

The iPhone calculator included more advanced functions when the screen is rotated.

Social Networks

You would be hard-pressed to find a student on a college campus who does not participate in some social network. Facebook is by far the most popular, but MySpace has maintained a following thanks to its dedicated musician pages. Either site provides an uncomplicated—and often more accessible—means of communication between students.

Twitter, however, is an interesting site that often gets grouped into the “social network” category. Tweets are as much a part of social networking as a blog entry; therefore Twitter is really more of a publishing platform than a true “social network.” UTC takes advantage of the publishing power of Twitter, including the handles @UTChattanooga, @UTC_Admissions, and @MocsNews, among others.

The Bottom Line

Students seem to be the most valuable consumers for technology companies. Computer manufacturers have exclusive deals and partnerships for students, developers appear to find a niche market in the student population, and students reciprocate by being among the first to adopt new technologies and innovations. In the ever-changing world of technology and the even more ever-changing world of technology sales and promotions, it’s important to stay abreast of new developments.

Websites like Wired, Engadget, and Gizmodo are excellent sources for technology news and information, but I have found one that stands above the rest for students. Lifehacker details deals (for students and non-students alike) and emphasizes free products, lending itself to be an invaluable resource for a college student operating on a college student budget. Wherever you look for student technology resources, keep your eyes open. The best is surely yet to come, and you won’t want to miss it!

“The Social Network,” “Catfish” offer distinct looks at Facebook

By Jonathan Higdon
Jonathan-Higdon@mocs.utc.edu

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) — It has become the college student routine. Wake up. Check Facebook. Go to class. Check Facebook. Eat Lunch. Check Facebook. You get the idea. A modern Animal House would look completely different from what John Belushi offered more than 30 years ago. So what’s a filmmaker to do? Make a movie about Facebook, of course! Two great films about the social networking site have been released recently, offering two very different views on what has become a cultural phenomenon.

The Social Network, from The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, gives a slightly fictionalized take on the origins of Facebook. In the film, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg—Adventureland, Zombieland) is portrayed as the egotistical CEO Silicon Valley legend has made him out to be. Zuckerberg himself has since refuted the implications the film makes about his character, but Eisenberg truly steals the show with his superb acting.

Besides delivering an (albeit somewhat distorted) look into the origins of Facebook, The Social Network offers one of the first mainstream success stories set in the computer science industry. Students have already said they are inspired by what they saw in the film, and have expressed an interest in computer programming because of Zuckerberg’s success with Facebook. Zuckerberg has already changed the present with his creation; now it appears he will be indirectly changing the future, as well.

Whereas The Social Network lauds Facebook by immortalizing its place in today’s culture, Catfish takes a different approach. This documentary follows Yaniv Schulman, a New York photographer who begins a relationship with a family after receiving a painting from the family’s eight-year-old daughter. When Schulman travels to visit the family in person and learns that they aren’t exactly as they advertised online, he learns an important lesson which he passes on to the audience.

The movie serves as a warning to the threats posed by the socialization of the Internet. Social networking sites like Facebook can be an important tool in society, however they also have a darker side. Catfish provides a glimpse into the real story of a man who was a victim of the easy anonymity of the Internet, but also warns on the dangers of easily accessible information made available on Facebook.

Although Catfish and The Social Network explore two completely different sides of Facebook, it is safe to say that the film industry is ready to explore this new branch of social culture. Hopefully impressionable audiences will not only be inspired by Zuckerberg in The Social Network, but will also heed the warnings laid out in Catfish and deliver us into a new, better age of social networking.

Facebook Bust

SEATTLE (The Loop/AP) — Maxi Sopo was living the dream of a fugitive abroad, kicking back on the beaches of Cancun by day, partying in the clubs by night.

Then he did two things that are never a good idea when you’re on the run from authorities: He started posting Facebook updates about how much fun he was having — and added a former Justice Department official to his list of friends.

That kind of recklessness landed the 26-year-old native of Cameroon in a Mexico City jail, where he is awaiting extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges. Federal prosecutors say he and an associate falsely obtained more than $200,000 from Seattle-area banks and credit unions.

“He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scoville, who helped find Sopo. “He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing.”

Even in the hold-nothing-back world of social networking, where police search Facebook photos for evidence of underage drinking and watch YouTube videos to identify riot suspects, it’s rare that a fugitive helps authorities this much.

In status updates, Sopo said he was “loving it” and “living in paradise.”

“LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!!” he wrote on June 21. “BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT…REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE.”

Sopo, who came to the U.S. in about 2003, made a living selling roses in Seattle nightclubs until, according to prosecutors, he moved on to bank fraud. He apparently drove a rented car to Mexico in late February after learning that federal agents were investigating the fraud scheme.

Investigators initially could find no trace of him on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and they were unable to pin down his exact location in Mexico.

But several months later, Secret Service agent Seth Reeg checked Facebook again — and up popped Maxi Sopo. His photo showed him wearing a black jacket decorated with a white lion as he stood in front of a party backdrop featuring logos of BMW and Courvoisier cognac.

Although Sopo’s profile was set to private, his list of friends was not, and Scoville started combing through it. He was surprised to see that one friend listed an affiliation with the Justice Department and sent him a message requesting a phone call.

“We figured this was a person we could probably trust to keep our inquiry discreet,” Scoville said.

The former official told Scoville he had met Sopo in Cancun’s nightclubs a few times, but did not really know him and had no idea he was a fugitive. The official learned where Sopo was living and passed that information back to Scoville, who provided it to Mexican authorities. They arrested Sopo last month.

The fugitive had been living at a nice apartment complex, working at a hotel and partying at Cancun’s beaches, pools and nightclubs, Scoville said.

Sopo does not yet have a lawyer, and it was not immediately clear how to contact him.

Prosecutors say he masterminded the bank fraud scheme with Edward Asatoorians, who was convicted by a federal jury in Seattle last week. Testimony at trial indicated the pair persuaded young co-conspirators to lie about their income to obtain loans for fabricated auto purchases, and then used the money to prop up Asatoorians’ business and to take an expensive trip to Las Vegas.

Asatoorians is expected to face at least five years in prison when he’s sentenced. If convicted, Sopo could face up to 30 years.

Citing privacy concerns, the former Justice Department official declined an interview request left with the U.S. attorney’s office.

Scoville said it was someone who left the department when the Obama administration arrived, and who had been taking some time off and organizing student trips to Cancun.

Facebook was not Sopo’s only computer activity during his time on the lam. An affidavit contains details from an instant-message conversation in March between Sopo and a low-level conspirator in the case. Sopo explained that he had fled to “the one safe place where i can actually think.”

Copyright Associated Press 2009.

Fraud Fugitive Busted After Unwise Friend Request

SEATTLE (AP) — Maxi Sopo was living the dream of a fugitive abroad, kicking back on the beaches of Cancun by day, partying in the clubs by night.

Then he did two things that are never a good idea when you’re on the run from authorities: He started posting Facebook updates about how much fun he was having — and added a former Justice Department official to his list of friends.

That kind of recklessness landed the 26-year-old native of Cameroon in a Mexico City jail, where he is awaiting extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges. Federal prosecutors say he and an associate falsely obtained more than $200,000 from Seattle-area banks and credit unions.

“He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scoville, who helped find Sopo. “He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing.”

Even in the hold-nothing-back world of social networking, where police search Facebook photos for evidence of underage drinking and watch YouTube videos to identify riot suspects, it’s rare that a fugitive helps authorities this much.

In status updates, Sopo said he was “loving it” and “living in paradise.”

“LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!!” he wrote on June 21. “BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT…REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE.”

Sopo, who came to the U.S. in about 2003, made a living selling roses in Seattle nightclubs until, according to prosecutors, he moved on to bank fraud. He apparently drove a rented car to Mexico in late February after learning that federal agents were investigating the fraud scheme.

Investigators initially could find no trace of him on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and they were unable to pin down his exact location in Mexico.

But several months later, Secret Service agent Seth Reeg checked Facebook again — and up popped Maxi Sopo. His photo showed him wearing a black jacket decorated with a white lion as he stood in front of a party backdrop featuring logos of BMW and Courvoisier cognac.

Although Sopo’s profile was set to private, his list of friends was not, and Scoville started combing through it. He was surprised to see that one friend listed an affiliation with the Justice Department and sent him a message requesting a phone call.

“We figured this was a person we could probably trust to keep our inquiry discreet,” Scoville said.

The former official told Scoville he had met Sopo in Cancun’s nightclubs a few times, but did not really know him and had no idea he was a fugitive. The official learned where Sopo was living and passed that information back to Scoville, who provided it to Mexican authorities. They arrested Sopo last month.

The fugitive had been living at a nice apartment complex, working at a hotel and partying at Cancun’s beaches, pools and nightclubs, Scoville said.

Sopo does not yet have a lawyer, and it was not immediately clear how to contact him.

Prosecutors say he masterminded the bank fraud scheme with Edward Asatoorians, who was convicted by a federal jury in Seattle last week. Testimony at trial indicated the pair persuaded young co-conspirators to lie about their income to obtain loans for fabricated auto purchases, and then used the money to prop up Asatoorians’ business and to take an expensive trip to Las Vegas.

Asatoorians is expected to face at least five years in prison when he’s sentenced. If convicted, Sopo could face up to 30 years.

Citing privacy concerns, the former Justice Department official declined an interview request left with the U.S. attorney’s office.

Scoville said it was someone who left the department when the Obama administration arrived, and who had been taking some time off and organizing student trips to Cancun.

Facebook was not Sopo’s only computer activity during his time on the lam. An affidavit contains details from an instant-message conversation in March between Sopo and a low-level conspirator in the case. Sopo explained that he had fled to “the one safe place where i can actually think.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Fraud Fugitive Busted after Unwise Friend Request

SEATTLE (AP/The Loop) — Maxi Sopo was living the dream of a fugitive abroad, kicking back on the beaches of Cancun by day, partying in the clubs by night.

Then he did two things that are never a good idea when you’re on the run from authorities: He started posting Facebook updates about how much fun he was having — and added a former Justice Department official to his list of friends.

That kind of recklessness landed the 26-year-old native of Cameroon in a Mexico City jail, where he is awaiting extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges. Federal prosecutors say he and an associate falsely obtained more than $200,000 from Seattle-area banks and credit unions.

“He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scoville, who helped find Sopo. “He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing.”

Even in the hold-nothing-back world of social networking, where police search Facebook photos for evidence of underage drinking and watch YouTube videos to identify riot suspects, it’s rare that a fugitive helps authorities this much.

In status updates, Sopo said he was “loving it” and “living in paradise.”

“LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!!” he wrote on June 21. “BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT…REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE.”

Sopo, who came to the U.S. in about 2003, made a living selling roses in Seattle nightclubs until, according to prosecutors, he moved on to bank fraud. He apparently drove a rented car to Mexico in late February after learning that federal agents were investigating the fraud scheme.

Investigators initially could find no trace of him on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and they were unable to pin down his exact location in Mexico.

But several months later, Secret Service agent Seth Reeg checked Facebook again — and up popped Maxi Sopo. His photo showed him wearing a black jacket decorated with a white lion as he stood in front of a party backdrop featuring logos of BMW and Courvoisier cognac.

Although Sopo’s profile was set to private, his list of friends was not, and Scoville started combing through it. He was surprised to see that one friend listed an affiliation with the Justice Department and sent him a message requesting a phone call.

“We figured this was a person we could probably trust to keep our inquiry discreet,” Scoville said.

The former official told Scoville he had met Sopo in Cancun’s nightclubs a few times, but did not really know him and had no idea he was a fugitive. The official learned where Sopo was living and passed that information back to Scoville, who provided it to Mexican authorities. They arrested Sopo last month.

The fugitive had been living at a nice apartment complex, working at a hotel and partying at Cancun’s beaches, pools and nightclubs, Scoville said.

Sopo does not yet have a lawyer, and it was not immediately clear how to contact him.

Prosecutors say he masterminded the bank fraud scheme with Edward Asatoorians, who was convicted by a federal jury in Seattle last week. Testimony at trial indicated the pair persuaded young co-conspirators to lie about their income to obtain loans for fabricated auto purchases, and then used the money to prop up Asatoorians’ business and to take an expensive trip to Las Vegas.

Asatoorians is expected to face at least five years in prison when he’s sentenced. If convicted, Sopo could face up to 30 years.

Citing privacy concerns, the former Justice Department official declined an interview request left with the U.S. attorney’s office.

Scoville said it was someone who left the department when the Obama administration arrived, and who had been taking some time off and organizing student trips to Cancun.

Facebook was not Sopo’s only computer activity during his time on the lam. An affidavit contains details from an instant-message conversation in March between Sopo and a low-level conspirator in the case. Sopo explained that he had fled to “the one safe place where i can actually think.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Fraud fugitive busted after unwise friend request

SEATTLE (AP/The Loop) — Maxi Sopo was living the dream of a fugitive abroad, kicking back on the beaches of Cancun by day, partying in the clubs by night.

Then he did two things that are never a good idea when you’re on the run from authorities: He started posting Facebook updates about how much fun he was having — and added a former Justice Department official to his list of friends.add-to-friends

That kind of recklessness landed the 26-year-old native of Cameroon in a Mexico City jail, where he is awaiting extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges. Federal prosecutors say he and an associate falsely obtained more than $200,000 from Seattle-area banks and credit unions.

“He was making posts about how beautiful life is and how he was having a good time with his buddies,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Scoville, who helped find Sopo. “He was definitely not living the way we wanted him to be living, given the charges he was facing.”

Even in the hold-nothing-back world of social networking, where police search Facebook photos for evidence of underage drinking and watch YouTube videos to identify riot suspects, it’s rare that a fugitive helps authorities this much.

In status updates, Sopo said he was “loving it” and “living in paradise.”

“LIFE IS VERY SIMPLE REALLY!!!!” he wrote on June 21. “BUT SOME OF US HUMANS MAKE A MESS OF IT…REMEMBER AM JUST HERE TO HAVE FUN PARTEEEEEEE.”

Sopo, who came to the U.S. in about 2003, made a living selling roses in Seattle nightclubs until, according to prosecutors, he moved on to bank fraud. He apparently drove a rented car to Mexico in late February after learning that federal agents were investigating the fraud scheme.

Investigators initially could find no trace of him on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and they were unable to pin down his exact location in Mexico.

But several months later, Secret Service agent Seth Reeg checked Facebook again — and up popped Maxi Sopo. His photo showed him wearing a black jacket decorated with a white lion as he stood in front of a party backdrop featuring logos of BMW and Courvoisier cognac.

Although Sopo’s profile was set to private, his list of friends was not, and Scoville started combing through it. He was surprised to see that one friend listed an affiliation with the Justice Department and sent him a message requesting a phone call.

“We figured this was a person we could probably trust to keep our inquiry discreet,” Scoville said.

The former official told Scoville he had met Sopo in Cancun’s nightclubs a few times, but did not really know him and had no idea he was a fugitive. The official learned where Sopo was living and passed that information back to Scoville, who provided it to Mexican authorities. They arrested Sopo last month.

The fugitive had been living at a nice apartment complex, working at a hotel and partying at Cancun’s beaches, pools and nightclubs, Scoville said.

Sopo does not yet have a lawyer, and it was not immediately clear how to contact him.

Prosecutors say he masterminded the bank fraud scheme with Edward Asatoorians, who was convicted by a federal jury in Seattle last week. Testimony at trial indicated the pair persuaded young co-conspirators to lie about their income to obtain loans for fabricated auto purchases, and then used the money to prop up Asatoorians’ business and to take an expensive trip to Las Vegas.

Asatoorians is expected to face at least five years in prison when he’s sentenced. If convicted, Sopo could face up to 30 years.

Citing privacy concerns, the former Justice Department official declined an interview request left with the U.S. attorney’s office.

Scoville said it was someone who left the department when the Obama administration arrived, and who had been taking some time off and organizing student trips to Cancun.

Facebook was not Sopo’s only computer activity during his time on the lam. An affidavit contains details from an instant-message conversation in March between Sopo and a low-level conspirator in the case. Sopo explained that he had fled to “the one safe place where i can actually think.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press