Le reflects on time as ASVP before rare resignation

Students to vote in first ASVP special election since 1995

The office of Western Washington University’s Associated Students Vice President for Business and Operations is vacant. The next position holder will be determined by an upcoming special election.

Previous position-holder Hung Le’s last day in office was Monday, Jan. 6, the day before Western’s winter quarter began. He formally announced his resignation in an email sent to all AS staff Thursday afternoon, Dec. 12 — the day before the end of Western’s fall-quarter finals week. Students will vote on the new ASVP for business and operations during a special election Jan. 27-31. Students can pick up candidate packets from Viking Union Room 504. Completed candidate packets are due by 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16.

Le did not wish to speak about his resignation immediately, but later agreed to answer questions for The Western Front via email. He declined to disclose why he resigned beyond “personal reasons.”

“[The reason] is not related to my job at the Associated Students,” Le said.

Le is not the first AS employee to resign this academic year, but as a Board member, his resignation is especially unusual.

Four to five AS employees have resigned in each of the past four years due to personal reasons or other employment opportunities, AS Personnel Director Nidia Hernandez said.  During the same number of years, one AS employee was fired. In the first two quarters of 2013-14, three AS employees have resigned: two in summer and one — Le — in fall.

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Associated Students corrects pay miscalculations for 44 positions

Western Washington University’s Associated Students is increasing the salaries of 44 positions that had been paid based on under-calculated amounts for three years, amounting to an annual discrepancy of $11,178.71.

The 44 students who hold those positions this year signed agreements for under-calculated salaries in the spring, but will receive their first paycheck Sept. 25 based on the recalculated salaries, AS Personnel Director Nidia Hernandez said. The acceptance letters signed by the people who previously held the 44 positions were for terms that have since ended. These people will not be reimbursed to have made the recalculated salaries, said Kevin Makjut, director of student activities.

All three-quarter Associated Students employee positions were paid a miscalculated amount for the past three years because some salary placements and rates had been based upon flawed information regarding required work schedules, according to an information item from the Aug. 5 AS Board meeting. In the unrevised salary system, four-quarter employees were mostly getting paid correctly, but “essentially all three-quarter employees [were] being underpaid,” according to the item.

In addition to the 44 positions corrected for this year, 26 four-quarter employee salaries were under-calculated by less than $7 and will be adjusted for next year’s employees, and three positions were paid too much: one by $502.22 and two by $3.59.

No employees were paid less than they were legally entitled to: employees were paid exactly the amounts they signed for, and no one’s salary was ever less than minimum wage. The miscalculations varied from a few dollars to $638.55, according to revised calculations made by Assistant Director of Student Activities Lisa Rosenberg.

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Spain charged with murder of 17-year-old stabbing victim

Bellingham, Wash. – A 21-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a teenager who was stabbed outside a dwindling house party on Samish Way earlier this month.

Geoff K. Spain was charged Feb. 12 with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Davonte Thompson, 17, and second-degree assault in connection with injuries sustained by Brandon Thompson, 18, Davonte’s brother.

Police arrested Spain on suspicion of stabbing the two teens on Feb. 9 outside of a house on the 500 block of Samish Way. He was booked into Whatcom County Jail and his bail is set at $1 million.

Bellingham Police still want to speak with the occupant(s) of a vehicle that may have witnessed activity related to Davonte’s death. Information provided to police indicates a vehicle stopped in the roadway at Samish Way and Fielding Avenue at about 2 a.m. Feb. 9 to remove a tree limb obstructing traffic. Police identified Samish Way and Fielding Avenue as the location of the stabbing.

The party started Friday night, Feb. 8 at a house Spain shares with other people. Police responded to a noise complaint from neighbors at 11:24 p.m., Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young said. The renter police contacted was cooperative. People were leaving in an orderly and uneventful manner, he said.

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Bellingham police release name of deceased 17-year-old stabbing victim

Bellingham, Wash. – Bellingham police have released the name of the Whatcom County teen who was fatally stabbed in the chest on Samish Way early Saturday morning, Feb. 9.

Davonte R. Thompson, a 17-year-old Whatcom County resident, died while receiving treatment for stab wounds to the chest at Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center on Saturday.

Officers were called to the hospital at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday to investigate after two teens with stab wounds – Thompson and an 18-year-old Whatcom County man – were brought to the ER in a private vehicle, according to Bellingham police.

Police later arrested Geoff K. Spain, 21, on suspicion of stabbing the two teens as a Friday-night party was winding down in the 500 block of Samish Way early Saturday, Feb. 9, according to a City of Bellingham press release.

Spain was booked into Whatcom County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Spain is scheduled to make his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court at 3 p.m Monday, Feb. 11, according to the press release.

The second stabbing victim received non-life-threatening wounds to his face and left the hospital Saturday morning, according to the release. Neither victim was a Western Washington University student, said Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young.

Frimann Sigfusson, 21, witnessed the incident that led to Thompson’s death while he was waiting outside for someone to pick him up, he said. Sigfusson had been drinking heavily, but remembers several details leading up to the stabbing, he said.

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Bellingham man arrested for investigation of stabbing that left boy dead, man injured

Bellingham, Wash. – Bellingham Police arrested a man on suspicion of stabbing two teens in an incident off Samish Way that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old boy early Saturday, Feb. 9, according to a City of Bellingham press release.

Police were called to Peace Health St. Joseph Medical Center at 2:15 a.m. Feb.  9 to investigate the stabbing.

The deceased victim was a 17-year-old Whatcom County resident, whose name has not yet been released by police. He was stabbed in the chest and died at the hospital. The second stabbing victim, an 18-year-old Whatcom County man, received non-life-threatening wounds to his face and left the hospital Saturday morning, according to the release.

Geoff K. Spain, 21, has been booked into the Whatcom County Jail for investigation of second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Neither victim was a Western Washington University student, said Bellingham Police spokesman Mark Young.

Witnesses gave officers a description of the suspect and the officers contacted residents at a home in the 500 block of Samish Way, according to the release.

Spain was one of the residents at the home, which was the location of a party the evening before. According to a Facebook event page for the party, Spain was one of five hosts. More than 300 people were invited to the event and about 50 people confirmed they would go.

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Offerman serves up “The American Ham Tour,” brings home the bacon

Nick Offerman of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” performed “The American Ham Tour” Thursday, Feb. 7 in Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center. Doors opened at 6:45 p.m.; opener John Lee, winner of Western’s 2012 Last Comic Standing, began his performance at 7:30 p.m. Offerman based his routine on 10 tips for a prosperous life:

03

1. Engage in romantic love

2. Remember to say “please” and “thank you”

3. Always carry a handkerchief

4. Eat red meat

5. Find a hobby or discipline

6. Go outside

7. Avoid the mirror

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Former Western professor sentenced to four years

A former Western professor was sentenced to four years in prison on Sept. 6.

Colin Reedy, who taught industrial design at Western from March 2002 until June 2004, was sentenced in United States District Court to four years in prison for buying a gun for another man to murder a man from Grove City, Ohio, according to a press release issued by the Department of Justice on Sept. 6.

Reedy, 46, was also fined $5,000 and ordered to serve 300 hours of community service as part of the ruling.
Reedy plead guilty on Dec. 20, 2011 to one count of making false statements in connection to the purchase of a firearm, according to the press release.

According to U.S. District Court documents from the Southern District of Ohio, Reedy knowingly made a false statement and representation to Butch’s Gun Shop in Seattle in November 2010, when he falsely represented that he was buying a Kel-Tec nine millimeter pistol for himself. He actually purchased the firearm for transfer to another person, according to U.S. District Court documents.
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