Eric Barron, a former dean of Penn State, is named president


Eric Barron answers questions from the media, Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, in State College, Pa. Barron was elected Monday to replace current Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who will retire this summer. (Nabil K. Mark/AP)
February 17, 2014
PENNSYLVANIA
Ex-Penn State dean
is named president

Eric Barron, a former dean at Penn State and currently president of Florida State University, was named president of the Pennsylvania university, which is still reeling from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Penn State’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to make Barron, 62, the school’s 18th president, with an annual salary of $800,000 and the potential for a $1 million bonus if he stays for five years. He will replace Rodney Erickson on May 12.

Sandusky, 70, a former assistant football coach, is serving 30 to 60 years in prison after his conviction on 45 counts of sexually abusing boys, some in the football team’s showers. His boss, football coach Joe Paterno, lost his job shortly after Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011. Paterno, 85, died of lung cancer in January 2012.

“You join us at a time when many in the Penn State University are still deeply hurting and the elephant in the room remains the same as it did November 9, 2011, a man named Paterno,” said Anthony Lubrano, a university trustee.

The scandal led to the firing of university president Graham Spanier, who was succeeded by Erickson. Spanier and two other former university officials are fighting criminal charges that they covered up sex abuse allegations.

Penn State received NCAA punishments that included $60 million in fines, recruiting restrictions and a ban on post-season bowl games. All of the university’s football wins for 14 seasons were voided.

Asked how he will lead a university still shaken by scandal, Barron said told reporters at a news conference after the Board of Trustees vote that he will keep it headed toward stability.

“What I see is an institution that has really taken control of compliance,” he said, “and is no doubt now a model university that I think a lot of other universities are going to look at and say, ‘This is the way we should be operating to make sure that we’re doing all the things the right way.’ ”

— Reuters

COLORADO
Avalanche victims
were from Wisconsin

Two skiers killed in a large avalanche in Colorado came from a small town in southern Wisconsin, relatives and colleagues said Monday.

Three other skiers were hospitalized after Saturday’s avalanche near Leadville, Colo. Rescue crews found the two skiers’ bodies Sunday afternoon near Independence Pass, about 80 miles southwest of Denver, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.

Robert Lentz said his son, Justin Lentz of Portage, was one of those killed in the avalanche. The 32-year-old Lentz loved to ski and started when he was 5 or 6 years old, his father said. Lentz said his son “was a good kid” who worked as an electrician and was engaged to be married.

Another Portage man, Jarrard Law, 34, also was killed. Law was an information-technology expert at the Necedah Area School District, where Superintendent Larry Gierach remembered him as an “incredible man.”

Saturday’s avalanche was the third deadly slide in Colorado in less than a week, authorities said Sunday.

— Associated Press

FLORIDA
$1 million vase is
smashed in protest

Miami police have arrested a man who they say smashed a $1 million vase by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to protest that the city’s new museum is displaying only international art.

Dominican-born Maximo Caminero, 51, was charged Sunday with criminal mischief after picking up one of the 16 brightly painted vases at the Perez Art Museum Miami and throwing it to the ground when confronted by security, according to a police report.

He told police he broke the vase to protest that the museum displayed only art by international artists, the report said.

Caminero, reached by telephone, said he is a painter who lives in Miami.

— Reuters

Explosive found in Anchorage airport carry-on: Anchorage airport police are playing down the discovery of a pipe bomb in a passenger’s carry-on luggage, noting that no triggering device was found. Airport police and fire Chief Jesse Davis told the Anchorage Daily News that Transportation Security Administration agents found the small explosive in the luggage of a man headed for a North Slope flight for oil company workers Sunday. The man, whose name has not been released, said it was an “avalanche device.”

— From news services

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