ComJour 475: Springfest

PULLMAN, Wash. Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr., more affectionately known as Snoop Dogg, has been announced as the headlining act for WSU Student Entertainment Board’s annual Springfest concert in April.

Springfest serves WSU students, faculty, alumni, and the Palouse community as a means to celebrate the end of another school year and provided a way for students to unwind and relieve stress before they take their finals exams.

The inaugural festival drew just 20 people in 2002 and was intended as an alternative to the Senior Golf event, planned by and produced by the WSU administration.

SEB took over the event in 2003 helping it to improve and grow in each passing year, implementing a beer garden, carnival rides, art galleries, and other features that helped make it the success it is today.

Having sold over 30 million albums worldwide, Snoop Dogg is without a doubt the most distinguished musical act to be showcased at Springfest in its 13 year existence.

At the beginning of the school year SEB made sure they had secured a rock-solid booking at Beasley Coliseum as a venue before brainstorming what musical acts they think students would enjoy.

“The big headliners like Snoop Dogg are typically always in Beasley so students can get that real concert feel,” said Films Director Taylor Wright.

“He’s definitely the highlight of Springfest and what everything is leading up to.”

The next step for SEB is to send out a survey asking students what genres of music they wanted to see represented at the next Springfest.

Once hip-hop was settled on, participants were polled on which artists they preferred within the genre.

“We receiving overwhelming support for Snoop Dogg,” said special events coordinator Logan Webbenhurst.

Webbenhurst said the process to book talent is usually a long one, especially with performers of Snoop’s magnitude.

“First we reached out to Snoop’s booking manager, then we inquired about availability for the specific dates,” said Webbenhurst.

“After that, we put out a bid with an expiration date of several weeks giving Snoop and his managing team time to look over the offer to see if they actually wanted to take it or not.”

SEB Director Jacob Farris takes pride in the organization’s ability to book premier talent considering Pullman’s less than ideal location.

“Due to the fact that Pullman is in the middle of nowhere, a lot of artists sometimes don’t want to come out here for that reason,” said Farris.

“The area is difficult to travel to but we do pretty well in getting artists out here, we just have to offer more in price.”

Tickets for Springfest will be available with and the CougarCard Center on February 4.

“We’re fortunate enough to get S & A fees so every student pitches in x amount of dollars into that and its distributed across campus for events,” said Farris.

“Its risky doing concerts because if we don’t sell enough tickets to break even then we lose that amount for the entire academic year so we need to make sure we sell enough and look at the potential risks and rewards.”

Farris said SEB always tries to make the most affordable prices no matter what.

“I think the prices are fair especially because they got Snoop Dogg this year,” said junior Scott Wolf, a three-year veteran of Springfest.

“If they keep getting good artists like this I may have to come back even after I graduate.”

All in all, Farris said he is thrilled with the direction SEB is headed with Springfest and the other events it puts on for students in order to create a unique and fun experience.

“We’ve continuously improved Springfest throughout the years by bringing in bigger talent, more talent, newer carnival rides, and just diverse entertainment,” said Farris.

“Changing up Springfest every year attracts students to come out to the point where although it’s the same event, new components will continue to spark interest in what we have going.”

Springfest will be held on April 25 from 5-11 p.m. and April 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival featuring carnival games and outdoor music will be located on Northeast Wilson Road by Grimes Way Playfield.

Snoop Dogg will perform on April 26 at 8 p.m. in Beasley Coliseum.


Jacob Farris-Director

Logan Webbenhurst-Special Events

Taylor Wright-Films

Scott Wolf-Student Attendee


Ed Rabel Speech Summary

PULLMAN, Wash. Former NBC News correspondent Ed Rabel spent decades covering an evolving political climate in Cuba, interviewed Fidel Castro several times, and routinely served as the voice of the otherwise unheard Cuban people broadcast into American homes.

On Wednesday, Rabel spoke to a classroom full of journalism students at Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication via conference call, sharing his insight and answering various questions about the communist country.

“The Cuban government is at odds with the United States government because of an economic embargo against Cuba since 1962,” said Rabel.

“We broke off normal diplomatic relations because we’ve had a very harsh foreign policy towards them.”

Rabel still travels to Cuba with aspiring young journalists from the university in order for them to experience life as a foreign correspondent and build their portfolios.

The next trip is in May and he assured that attending students will be greeted with open arms from the Cuban people.

“We’ve always had a very nice time and never any problems,” said Rabel.

“The relationship between Americans and Cubans is very good but it is the two governments that are hostile.”

Rabel told the students the Cubans leave the country (or attempt to) in order to find work and better their lives financially.

“Cuba is a poor country, make no mistake about it,” he said.

“If people were permitted to leave, then about three million of 12 million would leave for economic reasons.”

According to Rabel, Cuba’s new political leader Raul Castro has permitted his people to buy and sell houses and automobiles, and has allowed limited travel outside of the country. There is still very little access to the Internet with restrictions to the media.

“The jury is still out on where Cuba is going to go in the future but I suspect that they will open up more.”

ComJour 475: Work Samples


Obliteration by Stanford left few smiles in Pullman, at least until Cougars coach Mike Leach saw “The Popcorn Guy” video. After 55-17, take what you can get.

Zack Menchel, Murrow News Services

PULLMAN — Bright spots for the Cougars were few and far between in the 55-17 shellacking at the hands of No. 5 Stanford in the annual Seattle Game. The undefeated Cardinal excelled in all three phases – they outgained WSU 560-373 — and made plenty of big plays early to bury a foe that simply did not look ready for prime time in front of an announced 40,095 fans on a blustery Saturday evening at CenturyLink Field.

Late-game showers and a fierce passing attack led by Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan (16 of 25, 286 yards, three TD’s) and wide receiver Devon Cajuste (four catches, 115 yards, two TD’s) crippled any chance of an upset.

Halliday hurting

Quarterback Connor Halliday played well until the third quarter, when he released a deep ball down the left sideline before a Stanford defender slammed him to the ground.

The pass was picked easily by safety Jordan Richards, who returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. Halliday limped off the field. He tried to return the next series but was unable to walk, so trainers escorted him to the locker room.

Coach Mike Leach doesn’t discuss injuries, but Halliday was able to practice with the team Sunday night.

During his press conference Monday, Leach refrained from naming a starter for Saturday but praised Halliday’s desire to get back on the field.

“I think Connor is tough to begin with and I actually expected him to be at practice,” he said.

Apodaca waits

Redshirt freshman Austin Apodaca replaced Halliday and hiccupped early as a screen pass intended for wide receiver Dom Williams was intercepted by linebacker Trent Murphy and taken 38 yards for the score.

Apodaca recovered however, finishing with 15 completions on 29 attempts for 138 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career.

If Apodaca plays against Cal (1 p.m., Fox Sports One), Leach seems to have no reservations.

“Austin’s leadership qualities are good. I think they started last spring where he worked hard and developed his rapport with the team,” said Leach. “He went out there and did an admirable job. I think everyone respected his efforts.”

First-blowout blues

Despite the loss, a prevailing narrative being echoed in Pullman Monday by players and staff alike is to learn from the loss, not dwell on it.

“We just weren’t playing our game, we weren’t playing Cougar football,” said senior safety Deone Bucannon. “We went out, addressed it on film, changed some things, and got better.”

Senior center Elliott Bosch repeatedthat sentiment: “The whole team was upset but we came in and made the corrections on film. It definitely fuels the team and we’ve got to put it behind us because it’s all about how we respond and come back the next week.”

Little protection

Although Stanford had just two sacks, there was a concentrated effort to rush and hit WSU’s quarterbacks in the pocket, which led to errant passes and miscues.

“When our QB gets hit it’s a reflection on us that we didn’t get our job done,” said Bosch. “It’s going to happen, playing a good defensive line such as Stanford’s, but I think we could have finished a little better.”

When asked to clarify the offensive line’s struggles as a unit, Bosch said, “We did some good things but had some breakdowns at crucial moments up front. It was always one badly missed block getting our QB hit and ending the drive.”

Protege faces mentor

Leach will see a familiar face patrolling the opposing sidelines for the Golden Bears when the Cougars take the field in Berkeley.

Head coach Sonny Dykes worked under Leach for eight years and at two universities, Kentucky and Texas Tech. Leach said the two are on friendly terms and speak with each other at coaching functions.

“We go way back. He was my graduate assistant at Kentucky and I hired him at Texas Tech so we spent a good amount of time together,” Leach said.

Asked about Dykes joining the Pac-12 ranks this year after three seasons of head coaching experience at Louisiana Tech, Leach said, “I was excited for him, as he got a great opportunity. He did a good job at over at Louisiana Tech so I know he’ll do well.”

Popcorn guy

Upon entering his press conference Monday, Leach had not seen the now-infamous “Popcorn Guy” video in which a clearly fed-up Cougars fan in the stands was caught by television cameras as he poured a bag of popcorn all over himself. It already has a quarter-million views on YouTube.

Leach was shown the video by a member of the media and playfully remarked, “That guy is awesome. I think I kind of felt the same way at the end of that game. His technique was good.

“My wife and daughter will sometimes hold contests where they throw M&Ms up in the air and field it with their mouths, but I think this guy could give either one of them a run for their money.”

2.WSU extension scientists working to pair robots with humans for better harvest

By: Zack Menchel

PROSSER, Wash. Apples mean big business in the state of Washington, an estimated $2.5 billion business annually to be exact.

In fact, over half the world’s supply of fresh apples intended for consumption are picked in Washington orchards.

Therefore it should come as no surprise that leading scientists at Washington State University are teaming up to research and develop innovative new technologies that will provide growers with a more cost and labor efficient strategy to harvest their bumper crop, apples.

“As yields go up, we need to figure out different ways to harvest this fruit because labor is not only unreliable but the cost of it is going up,” said Karen Lewis, a WSU extension tree fruit specialist.

“Growers are looking at all kinds of ways to increase the efficiencies of a very large harvest.”

In conjunction with Lewis, Changki Mo, and Qin Zhang, Dr. Manoj Karkee, an assistant professor with the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS) at WSU is working on creating various robotic systems that will collaborate with humans in the process of picking tree fruit from orchards.

“This is the best place in the world to grow apples, its what we do best and what we strive to continue to do,” said Kate Evans, associate professor at the WSU Tree Fruit Research Center.

“We just need to figure out ways to stay profitable while doing it.”

Karkee’s team was recently awarded a $548,000 grant towards funding the research and eventual release of a prototype robotic hand that features force and pressure measuring sensors intended to enhance the delicate process of picking apples and other fruit from trees.

The potential mobile fruit identifier unit with a touch-screen interface also will see humans and robots in cahoots during harvest.

“Within the scope of this project, my associates and I are striving to create innovative new technologies commercially available to the growers for the long-term sustainability of their businesses and agriculture in the community as a whole,” Karkee said.

“We hope our work can in time make a lasting impact on this industry through economic and environmental growth and profit.”

Although the development of the prototype hand is still in the early stages, the team of scientists has begun the meticulous process of collecting data relating to the growth patterns of apples as well as conducting a study of the most effective hand motion utilized when collecting tree fruit be it rotating, twisting, pulling, etc.

One thing that observers are worrying about regarding the gradual advancement of tree picking robot technology is backlash due to the elimination of jobs within the agricultural workforce.

“While that is possibility, the upside is that there will be a lot of new high-tech equipment that will need to be serviced and monitored in the field,” said Brian Clark, a director of agricultural education at WSU.

“Leading researchers have long been searching for ways to automate and mechanize some of these agricultural tasks due to a crisis of labor shortage.”

According to Karkee, we should be viewing the technology as eliminating the problem of not having enough workers, rather than wiping out workers completely.

This is because there is already a lack of workers available for labor-intensive, seasonal operation such as tree fruit picking.

“We’d create higher-paying, employment job opportunities for workers to operate and maintain the technology,” said Karkee.

“This will in turn lead to a better economic, social, and cultural environment in these rural communities in Washington as well as around the country.”

Karkee made it known theat growers are very interested in applying his team’s technology to their operations.

“We hope to see a prototype field test within the next three years and if we can secure continuous funding for another 5-10 years, our goal would be to make it commercially available worldwide,” Karkee said.

The grant currently providing funding for Karkee and his team is being issued by the National Robot Initiative, and USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture among other programs.

“Our technology has been relatively successful and that makes for an industry that is willing to fund and engage in the process of experimenting with and validating new technology,” said Lewis.

“This is most certainly a great time to introduce new technology to this industry, it’s truly very exciting.”