Westport, Ind. — A two-year-old child was struck and killed in Westport Monday evening at 9 p.m.A report from the Indiana State Police says Lena Snowden, 2, wandered into traffic on State Road 3 from the Pine Lakes Apartments and was struck by a vehicle driven by David Vanderbur, 45, of Greensburg. Vanderbur attempted to take evasive action but could not avoid the child.Snowden was pronounced dead at the scene. Drugs and alcohol are not suspected, but toxicology tests are being conducted.State Road 3 was closed for about two hours during the investigation.
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Harvey Levin, founder and former managing editor of TMZ, visited the Journalism 381: Entertainment, Business and Media class on Tuesday night at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.Scandal · Harvey Levin (right) managing editor of TMZ speaks as part of Professor Mary Murphy’s (left) Journalism 381 course on Tuesday night. – Kevin Fohrer | Daily TrojanHe led a discussion about the future of broadcast and digital journalism, as well as the ethics behind paying sources for photos and videos.Professor Mary Murphy, who teaches the class, said her goal in bringing Levin was to show students how his staff goes about finding and running the most talked-about stories of the day.“He’s driving the entertainment coverage across the entire country,” she said.Before the class, many students were only generally familiar with TMZ, mainly for being quick at breaking celebrity news scandals. Levin anticipated this, and he stressed that TMZ’s staff vets stories for accuracy and revealed why they are so often the first to run breaking news articles.“We have more contacts, better contacts, than just about all of the other news outlets combined,” Levin said. “You don’t get these stories by [saying] ‘Oh, I’m out to get you.’ There’s a reason people work with us — it’s because they trust us. The ‘feel right’ thing is a guiding light in what we do.”After hearing Levin say that his staff considers ethics and possible outcomes of running specific stories each day, some students’ opinions of the news outlet changed.“I always pictured TMZ as a trashy gossip website, but all of his stories, he doesn’t break unless they’re 100 percent true, so that changes my perception of TMZ,” said Tiffany Luke, a senior majoring in business administration. “Overall, now I do see them more as a legitimate website.”TMZ has long been scrutinized for paying sources for photos and videos, but Levin defended this practice. Both he and Murphy said that most news outlets do the same thing but not publicly.“It’s absurd to say that we’ll make money off of a photo and [the source who sent it] won’t,” Levin said. “If a story is important and we think there’s value in the video, we’ll pay for it.”Levin went on to say that though TMZ is open to paying for photos and videos, the site will never pay for information, which he says incentivizes sources to skew facts and taints a story. Paying for news tips, he said, is a very rare exception.“It’s kind of refreshing to hear that he’s only paying for media as opposed to flat-out stories and information,” said Ivan Chu, a senior majoring in classics. “I still have a lot of discomfort from it; it still feels like a moral line being crossed, and there’s always the hazard that journalism could turn into people just cutting checks.”Others were struck by Levin’s strong opinion that television is archaic and will be obsolete in five years. This belief, along with a desire for a newer type of media, is what drove Levin to create TMZ.“There has not been a sophistication in the news business for 50 years,” he said. “It is the same product, it’s boring and, to some extent, it’s irrelevant. I don’t see the imagination in it, and I don’t see young people going to it.”Instead of seeing broadcast and digital journalism continue as separate forms, Levin hopes that they will have what he calls a “convergence,” which he thinks young journalists must have the ability to bring about.“I was definitely going to go the traditional television route, but since he said that in five years, our jobs might not exist, there’s something to reconsider,” said Michelle Tak, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. “It’s kind of a rude awakening.”Levin closed by advising aspiring journalists to begin their careers by working for local outlets and to freshen up their content by introducing more youthful ideas.“Local news stations are looking for young people who can come up with fresh ways of presenting,” Levin said. “If you can do that, you’ll take off like a rocket.”
It is a lazy Sunday afternoon, and Jordan McLaughlin is alone on the practice courts of the Galen Center. Travis Scott’s latest album pumps through the speakers as McLaughlin launches jumper after jumper. The only interruption of the smooth sounds of the swish of the net, the shooting machine returning the ball with a “pop” back into his hands is the rare clank of a shot off the rim.He’s been at it for quite some time. The number on the machine reads 400 shots taken — and counting.“Let me know when you want to talk,” he said, “because I’ll be here awhile.”It may be an off day for the team — they had practiced on Friday and had a scrimmage on Saturday — but not for McLaughlin, the junior point guard and de facto leader of the men’s basketball team as it looks to build upon its first appearance in the NCAA tournament in five years. The season begins on Friday with a home game against Montana.If there was any doubt last season, this is Jordan McLaughlin’s team now, for better or for worse. Following a 21-win campaign that generated genuine excitement about USC basketball for the first time since DeMar DeRozan roamed the Galen Center floor, the Trojans went into the offseason on a downbeat with two key starters departing.Gone is Julian Jacobs, the athletic, defensive stalwart who shared a leadership role with McLaughlin last season. Gone is Nikola Jovanovic, the skilled 6-foot-11 power forward who could score from inside and outside. Both declared for the NBA draft as juniors, surprising McLaughlin by forgoing their final year of college eligibility. Now, it’s on McLaughlin to be the leader.Jordan McLaughlin is ready to take the Trojans to new heights – Brian Chin | Daily Trojan“It puts a lot of pressure on me,” McLaughlin said. “But that’s one of the reasons I came here. With them departing, it was saddening, but you’ve got to move on. I’ve got to be more vocal either on or off the court, and make sure I’m leading the young guys and everybody else.”Pressure is something McLaughlin has grown accustomed to, considering USC more or less built its program around him.Born in Pasadena, McLaughlin came from an athletic family and played basketball, baseball and football as a kid. One theme was common among the sports — as a point guard in basketball, a pitcher in baseball and a quarterback in football, he always had the ball in his hands.But choosing basketball was an easy decision. He was a huge Michael Jordan fan growing up, and would try to imitate the Bulls’ legend in the movie Space Jam. “My parents would call me from the kitchen to the living room. They’d yell my name — ‘Jordan McLaughlin’ — as a little kid, and I’d try to make a layup,” he said.McLaughlin also liked the fast pace of basketball. So up the ranks he went, through recreational league, middle school, high school and travel teams. He made the varsity team as a freshman at local prep basketball powerhouse Etiwanda High School, and was a four-star recruit by his senior season (a mixtape of McLaughlin’s senior season featuring the point guard’s shooting, dribbling and passing prowess has more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.) Big-time collegiate programs came after him hard, pinging his phone daily.When decision-making time came, he was down to offers from four schools: Indiana, Kansas, UCLA and USC. The first three were traditional national powerhouses, the latter a fledgling program and a clear afterthought to football on campus.But there was something about head coach Andy Enfield’s pitch that clicked with McLaughlin.“He said I had the opportunity to come and lead the program and change it,” McLaughlin said. “USC had been struggling the past couple of years. He said I would have the opportunity to change the program around.”McLaughlin, who had chosen basketball for its fast pace, was also enthralled with how Enfield envisioned the offense would look with McLaughlin running the point — playing fast, smart and unselfish.“I fell in love with his style of play,” McLaughlin said. “He wants to play fast. He wants to score in the first eight seconds [of the shot clock], set a lot of ball screens, just play good team basketball.” And there was one more thing. Just a few days before Bill Sharman — the Boston Celtics Hall of Famer who played his college ball at USC — passed away in 2013, he agreed to have his No. 11 unretired from the Galen Center rafters for McLaughlin to wear.During McLaughlin’s recruiting visit to USC, coaches told him that he could have the number he wore throughout high school. It signified the program’s investment in McLaughlin and the future they envisioned with him leading it.So he jumped on board to USC, accepting the challenge to be the centerpiece of the rebuilding process as opposed to just another recruit elsewhere. Two years later and the ship is on course. McLaughlin’s freshman season was a struggle. Though he made the Pac-12 All-Freshman team, USC won just three conference games and lacked a veteran presence.“We lost a lot of games down the stretch due to our inexperience,” McLaughlin said. “We didn’t have anybody to control us and teach us the ways of how to win down the stretch.”With experience came wisdom. McLaughlin and his teammates turned the close losses into wins in his sophomore season, with the point guard leading the Trojans with eight 20-point games. The renaissance season culminated in a trip to the NCAA Tournament, but it ended in heartbreaking fashion when the Trojans blew a fourth quarter lead to Providence, allowing a wide-open game-winning layup at the buzzer.“Everybody was feeling it in the locker room,” McLaughlin said. “There were a few tears. It was just hardening. You don’t want your season to end like that after you haven’t gotten that far in a while for USC.”Now, expectations will be for the Trojans to make it back to March Madness — and go further. And it will be McLaughlin running the show, no longer sharing ball-handling duties with Jacobs or having the reliable Jovanovic in the post. Instead, he’ll lean on fellow junior guard Elijah Stewart in the backcourt, sophomore forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu in the frontcourt and a slew of freshmen and transfers to round out the roster.Stewart, who played against McLaughlin in high school at Westchester, said there hasn’t been a year in which the point guard hasn’t improved.“Every year, he comes back and his moves get crisper, his shooting gets better, his decision-making gets better,” Stewart said. “He always adds something extra to his game. He’s just constantly evolving.”Stewart said that as a leader, McLaughlin doesn’t talk a whole lot on the court, but his words are prudent.“When he tells you something, he’s right most of the time,” Stewart said.McLaughlin’s life outside basketball ranges from maintaining his large sneaker collection (he says he has between 80-85 pairs), listening to Kendrick Lamar (“His meanings behind his verses are just ridiculous”) and working on his degree in sociology. He plans on minoring in communications and wants to be a sports commentator after his career.But first, he wants to make it to the NBA, and the next stepping-stone is a breakout junior season. McLaughlin signed onto USC with hefty expectations, as the core piece of Enfield’s first recruiting class and wearing the jersey number of a legend. Now, it’s his team, and it’s his time.“I feel a lot of pressure,” McLaughlin said. “Life is all about pressure. The game is about pressure. If you don’t accept the pressure, there’s no point in playing. You have to live up to the hype.”
Slater’s tweet as of Sunday morning had been liked more than 470,000 times and retweeted 45,000 times.If you haven’t seen the Peloton ad that sparked Slater’s viral tweet, you can watch it below: “An Ex Boyfriend once got me a Fitbit for Christmas,” Slater tweeted. “I loved it. We synched up, motivated each other … didn’t hate it until he was unaccounted for at 4am and his physical activity levels were spiking on the app.”She continued: “Wish the story wasn’t real.”The NFL reporter made sure to clarify that her former partner was not getting an early-morning workout at the gym: “Spoiler alert: He was not enrolled in an Orange Theory class at 4am.” Peloton’s new holiday ad went viral after many considered it sexist and offensive, as it shows a husband giving his wife the expensive exercise bike for Christmas. In response to the controversial ad, NFL Network’s Jane Slater tweeted that she was not offended when her ex-boyfriend gifted her a FitBit — until it revealed he was cheating on her.MORE: Why NFL players are wearing custom cleats in Week 14