McCallum Theatre Education offers high-quality virtual programming for students

Yellow school buses no longer line up outside the McCallum Theatre to offload hundreds of students eager to experience high-quality dance, music and theater. But in true theater tradition, the show must go on.

a group of people on a stage: A scene from the video performance of "The Planets," a virtual event produced by McCallum Theatre Education.

© Jack Hartin, Special to The Desert Sun
A scene from the video performance of “The Planets,” a virtual event produced by McCallum Theatre Education.

Vice President of Education at McCallum Theatre, Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, said: “Facing the restrictions of the pandemic has motivated us to creatively continue our mission of making the arts available and accessible to the youth in the area. We want to move students into creative problem-solving and self-expression through the Aesthetic Education Program.” She credits the long-term relationships with 25 school program partners for the ability to deliver the virtual instruction that will reach 91 classrooms before the holidays and many more thereafter.


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Alongside the 33 classroom teachers, six teaching artists, Mark Almy, Sue Roginski, April Rhodes, Calvin Larson, Karen Rae Kraut and Holly O’Farrell, will conduct four dynamic 30-minute Zoom classes to each classroom prior to the video performances of “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” and “The Planets.”

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Also, exciting inquiry-driven and layered activities are presented for students in a Google Classroom. Because the education is delivered virtually in the student’s home, an added benefit is the potential to engage entire families in the process. Chairs and coffee tables are moved aside to temporarily convert family rooms to dance studios as multiple generations interact with the activities.

The objective of the Zoom and Google Classes is to prepare kindergarten through fifth grade students for a more meaningful experience when viewing the performances. These encounters with works of art are designed to awaken imaginative learning and inspire a greater awareness of the educational, cognitive, emotional and spiritual power of the arts.

a group of people sitting at sunset: A scene from the video performance of "The Planets," a virtual event produced by McCallum Theatre Education.

© Jack Hartin, Special to The Desert Sun
A scene from the video performance of “The Planets,” a virtual event produced by McCallum Theatre Education.

An exciting new partnership with Riverside County Office of Education Visual and Performing Arts will bring the Aesthetic Education Program to 12 classrooms at Perris Elementary School District outside of the Coachella Valley. This implementation will be a model for future expansion in Riverside County.

McCallum Theatre Education believes that all human beings are inherently creative and therefore provides additional programs to all age groups. The Palm Desert Choreography Festival and Open Call Talent Project serve as powerful vehicles for developing artists and providing exciting and affordable performances to the public. The Choreography Festival is dedicated to the advancement of dance as an art form and the promotion of quality choreography. One festival outreach project, The East Valley Dance Project, will launch this fall

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College football Week 13 schedule, TV guide, best bets

For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Alabama will enter the Iron Bowl against Auburn as the No. 1 ranked team in the country – but the Tigers have won two of the last three meetings between the two rivals. Auburn beat Alabama 48-45 last year in a thriller, but the Crimson Tide is a big favorite to win on Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

a baseball player holding a bat

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Here’s the perfect viewing lineup for Saturday:

12:00 p.m. ET: Maryland at No. 12 Indiana (ESPN2) 3:30 p.m. ET: No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama (CBS) 7:00 p.m. ET: LSU at No. 5 Texas A&M (SEC Network)

Minnesota at No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 7 Cincinnati at Temple have been cancelledd. No. 25 Tulsa at Houston and No. 11 Oklahoma at West Virginia have been postponed.

Here’s a full rundown of the weekend schedule. All betting information via BetMGM. Scroll down to see our 3 betting locks of the week (1-3 last week).

We occasionally recommend interesting products, services, and gaming opportunities. If you make a purchase by clicking one of the links, we may earn an affiliate fee. FTW operates independently, though, and this doesn’t influence our coverage.


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Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District votes to strip healthcare benefits for striking teachers

The Board of Education for Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District (CH-UH) has voted to strip healthcare benefits from striking teachers, counselors, nurses, and other school support professionals, the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union (CHTU) revealed in a release on Friday.

RELATED: More local news from WKYC

Last week, the CHTU filed a notice to strike following months of negotiations between the union and school district on a new contract. The CHTU’s strike is set to begin on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

“This outrageous move by our Board of Education is a heavy-handed attempt to quash our collective action by taking away our health insurance during the peak of a global pandemic,” CHTU President Karen Rego said in a release. “We made the hard decision to plan for a strike to protect the quality health insurance that we have gained over the years by forgoing wage increases, and now the district is seeking to punish us by eliminating our healthcare altogether.”

In a statement, CH-UH City School District Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby and CH-UH City School District Board of Education President Jodi Sourini said that the district remains committed to resolving its issues with the Union. They also noted “when public school teachers choose to go on strike, they are knowingly walking away from wages and benefits.”

“That is the definition of a strike – employees choose to walk away from their compensation in order to influence terms and conditions of employment,” the statement reads. “Ceasing wages and benefits is required for public sector employees in Ohio under state law. We sincerely hope Union leadership informed its members of this and what choosing to strike means.”

The school district also noted that employees are eligible to continue their health benefits through COBRA during the strike, but will be responsible for paying for the coverage. The union, meanwhile, stated that its strike comes after “the district unilaterally imposed the terms of their final contract proposal, which will raise healthcare premiums to 250% of the current rate, while also reducing other compensation by 1%. For many CHTU members that adds up to a $3,000-$5,000 loss in total compensation.”

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College football: No. 2 Notre Dame tops No. 19 North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Ian Book kept No. 2 Notre Dame’s offense moving while the Fighting Irish defense locked down Sam Howell and No. 19 North Carolina’s potent offense for the final three quarters in a 31-17 victory Friday.

Book threw for 279 yards and a score and rushed for 48 yards for the Fighting Irish (9-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 2 College Football Playoff), using his mobility and elusiveness to keep plays alive on a night when both offenses frequently faced long fields.

Wide receiver Ben Skowronek got Notre Dame its first lead with his 13-yard run around the right side midway through the third quarter. Kyren Williams ran for 124 yards — including a 47-yarder with about 5½ minutes left as the Irish burned clock and sealed the game.

Williams closed that drive with his second rushing touchdown, a clinching one-yarder with 1:20 left that kept the Fighting Irish alone atop the ACC standings ahead of No. 3 Clemson and No. 10 Miami.

More impressively, though, was a defensive effort that forced Howell and the high-scoring Tar Heels to work for every gain after the opening quarter.

North Carolina (6-3, 6-3) sprinted to touchdowns on its first two drives, but Notre Dame surrendered only one field goal from there. The Tar Heels came in averaging 43 points and 563 yards, yet they were unable to buy time for Howell to push downfield for big gains or open running lanes for a pair of backs averaging better than 100 yards rushing each in Javonte Williams and Michael Carter.

By the end, North Carolina had finished with a season-low 298 yards while Howell — one of the national leaders in passing yardage and touchdowns — threw for just 211 yards and a score. He also ran for a touchdown.

No. 13 Iowa State 23, No. 17 Texas 20

Iowa State running back Breece Hall celebrates the team's win over Texas on Nov. 27, 2020, in Austin, Texas.

Iowa State running back Breece Hall celebrates the Cyclones’ win at Texas.

(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

AUSTIN, Texas — Breece Hall scored on a three-yard run with 1:25 remaining, and Iowa State held off last-minute drive by Sam Ehlinger and Texas to remain in first place in the Big 12.

After the Cyclones sacked Ehlinger on third down, the Longhorns’ Cameron Dicker barely missed left with a 58-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.

Iowa State (7-2, 7-1) has almost locked up a spot in the Big 12 championship game for the first time.

Hall gained 91 yards in 20 carries, his first game under 100 this season, but had 30 on the final 69-yard touchdown drive. Quarterback Brock Purdy connected with tight ends Charlie Kolar and Dylan Soehner for the other 39 yards.

Iowa State trailed 20-16 early in the fourth quarter after a bad two-play sequence for Texas (5-3, 4-3) helped the Cyclones get a field goal by Connor Assalley.

First, the Longhorns came up three yards short throwing the ball on a fake punt on fourth and eight. Then Purdy found Kolar for 44 yards. A holding penalty

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College football picks, schedule: Predictions against the spread, odds for top 25 games in Week 13

While the college football schedule continues to be ravaged by postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19, the Week 13 slate is full of important games. There were three top 25 showdowns on Friday with two matchups between ranked teams, and there’s a number of big games on Saturday as well, including No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 22 Auburn, which will serve as the SEC on CBS Game of the Week.

It should be no surprise that the Iron Bowl is the spotlight game of what is normally Rivalry Week, but this year’s showdown comes with added intrigue as Alabama coach Nick Saban will be sidelined due to COVID-19. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will step in as de facto coach for the game as Mac Jones & Co. look to continue on their journey to a College Football Playoff berth.

Elsewhere on the slate, the rest of the top six is in action. No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 6 Florida all have games where they enter as significant favorites. No. 8 Northwestern and No. 9 Georgia are also in action. Combined with No. 2 Notre Dame playing on Friday, eight of the top 10 teams in the first College Football Playoff Rankings will be tested before the weekend is out.

Those are the marquee games on the slate, and while winning is all that matters for the standings, we care about whether these teams will cover their spreads. Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the day for college football coverage from the opening kickoff on Saturday to the final whistle. Let’s take a look at our expert picks for Week 13.

Odds via William Hill Sportsbook | All times Eastern

No. 4 Ohio State at Illinois (noon, FS1)

Latest Odds:


Illinois has looked much better in recent weeks as its quarterback situation has resolved, but it’s done so against Rutgers and Nebraska, two teams that are a combined 2-7 on the season. This Ohio State team is another beast entirely, and it’s also a team that now has a point to prove. If beating a top-10 team like Indiana by a touchdown is only good enough to get them to No. 4 in the rankings, they’re going to have to put a hurting on the Illini to get credit for the win. Plus, Justin Fields had his worst game of the season against Indiana and would like to get back on track to help his team and his Heisman Trophy resume. This is simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for Illinois. Pick: Ohio State -27.5 — Tom Fornelli

Kentucky at No. 6 Florida (noon, ESPN)

Latest Odds:


Kentucky struggles to pass, and its rushing stats are skewed by two great games. Translation: it’s a paper tiger. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask will get his top weapon, tight end Kyle Pitts, back after the star pass-catcher missed the last two games. The

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Georgia’s Smart, SC’s Bobo share roots, college, friendship | Sports

The Bulldogs used a strong passing attack to get by Mississippi State a week ago. JT Daniels’ 401 yards passing were the team’s first 400-plus yard game since Aaron Murray in 2013. It’s a good thing, too, for Georgia since the team’s typically relentless ground game was held to 8 yards on 23 carries last week.

South Carolina interim coach Mike Bobo sounded a little like a Bulldogs alumnus (he is) when discussing his team’s game with Georgia this week. “There’s more excitement in the air,” Bobo said. “Lot of history, there’s a lot of people I’ve known on the other side of the ball.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said that injured defensive tackle Jordan Davis is hopeful about returning to play South Carolina. The word is not as good on defensive back Richard LeCounte, out since a motorcycle accident after the team’s win over Kentucky on Oct. 31. Davis hurt his elbow that game, too. Smart said “Jordan has a chance and that is promising.”

One of South Carolina’s top playmakers in receiver Shi Smith is unlikely to play against the Bulldogs. Smith is third in the Southeastern Conference with 54 catches and 605 yards. He was hit hard in the first quarter and needed help getting up and to the sidelines. Interim coach Mike Bobo said Smith was in the concussion protocol and doubtful for Saturday.

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Nevada vs. Hawaii odds, line: 2020 college football picks, Week 13 predictions from proven model

The Nevada Wolf Pack and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will face off in a Mountain West clash at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday at Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium. Hawaii is 2-3 overall and 1-1 at home, while the Wolf Pack are 5-0 overall and 2-0 on the road. Nevada has a 4-1 record against the spread and Hawaii is 2-3 against the number. 

The Wolf Pack are favored by seven points in the latest Hawaii vs. Nevada odds from William Hill Sportsbook. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is set at 60.5. Before entering any Nevada vs. Hawaii picks, you’ll want to see the college football predictions from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $3,600 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is also a sizzling 44-23 on all top-rated picks through 12 weeks of the 2020 college football schedule, returning over $1,200 in profit already. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Hawaii vs. Nevada. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college football odds for Nevada vs. Hawaii:

  • Hawaii vs. Nevada spread: Hawaii +7
  • Hawaii vs. Nevada over-under: 60.5 points
  • Hawaii vs. Nevada money line: Hawaii +220, Nevada -270

Latest Odds:

Wolf Pack

What you need to know about Hawaii

Hawaii came up short against the Boise State Broncos last Saturday, falling 40-32. The Rainbow Warriors were down 40-17 at the end of the third quarter, which was too much to recover from. 

Hawaii’s loss came about despite a quality game from quarterback Chevan Cordeiro, who passed for three TDs and 253 yards on 48 attempts in addition to picking up 90 yards on the ground. After winning its opener against Fresno State, Hawaii has now lost three of its last four.

What you need to know about Nevada

Meanwhile, even if it wasn’t a dominant performance, Nevada beat the San Diego State Aztecs 26-21 last Saturday. Among those leading the charge for Nevada was receiver Romeo Doubs, who caught five passes for one TD and 133 yards. One of the most thrilling moments was Doubs’ 50-yard TD reception in the third quarter.

Nevada also one of the best quarterbacks in the Mountain West in Carson Strong. The sophomore is completing over 70 percent of passes for for 1,805 yards, 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions this season. 

How to make Hawaii vs. Nevada picks

The model has simulated Hawaii vs. Nevada 10,000 times and the results are in. It is leaning over on the total, and it’s also generated a point-spread pick that is hitting in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Hawaii vs. Nevada? And which side of

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Oregon State rolls to a 2-0 start with an emphatic 114-42 win over Northwest University

Oregon State left no doubt against outmanned Northwest University, using a 30-0 first-half run to roll to a 114-42 win Friday morning at Gill Coliseum.

The Beavers (2-0) scored 100 points for the second time of coach Wayne Tinkle’s seven-year tenure. Ethan Thompson hit 7 of 9 shots and scored 17 points as six Beavers scored in double figures.

OSU shot 66% from the floor (44 of 67), and hit 10 of 18 from three-point range. The Beavers forced 20 Northwest turnovers, and the NAIA school from Bellevue, Washington, shot 28% (16 of 57) from the floor.

The Beavers trailed 5-4 early, but soon embarked on a nine-minute stretch when they blanked Northwest while extending the lead to 41-7. Oregon State led 57-15 at halftime. The Beavers’ largest lead was the final margin.

Every healthy player on OSU’s roster played, including the first-ever action from Joey Potts, who scored five points.

Jarod Lucas scored 14 points, Maurice Calloo and Zach Reichle had 12, and Isaiah Johnson and Tariq Silver each scored 10 for Oregon State.

Northwest (0-2) lost to California 86-61 on Thursday in Corvallis.

Oregon State returns to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when the Beavers open the Pac-12 season at Washington State.

–Nick Daschel | [email protected] | @nickdaschel


–Nick Daschel | [email protected] | @nickdaschel

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SUNY and unions agree to routine coronavirus testing in nation’s largest college system

Syracuse, N.Y. — Agreements struck between the State University of New York chancellor and the school system’s unions mean that all staff and faculty will receive free and routine coronavirus tests through June 2021.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras announced the agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association today. The deal mirrors an agreement struck last week between SUNY and its other main union, United University Professions.

“Regular mandated testing will continue to be a part of our strategy to keep campuses open,” Malatras said in a statement about the country’s largest system of higher education in the nation. “Thanks to the continued heroic efforts, ingenuity, and innovation of Upstate Medical University, we must continue testing everyone on campus.”

The testing for CSEA workers will be on par with that of students, according to SUNY.

This semester SUNY has conducted 544,190 COVID-19 tests with a positivity rate of 0.52 percent. Most SUNY students are finishing classes and finals remotely, according to the state.

All returning students will be required to submit test results before spring semester begins.

SUNY includes 64 campuses, including SUNY Upstate Medical University, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Cortland and the College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Got a story idea or news tip you’d like to share? Please contact me through email, Twitter, Facebook or at 315-470-2274.

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Julie Buxbaum’s novel ‘Admission’ is about college scandal

On the Shelf


By Julie Buxbaum
Delacorte: 352 pages, $19

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When news of the college admissions scandal broke in March 2019, much of the nation was thrilled by its promise of good gossip and ample schadenfreude. The story had everything we love to hate-read — it was a tale of extreme wealth and extreme greed. Celebrities like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin had collaborated with Rick Singer, a “private admissions counselor,” to fake test scores and athletic resumes in order buy their kids’ way into elite colleges. In a deeply divided nation, here, at last, was something we could all agree on: These people were monsters, and they deserved to be exposed, mocked and punished for their sins.

“When the scandal broke, I, like the rest of the United States, was totally and completely obsessed,” says Julie Buxbaum, “but times a thousand — more than anyone else.” Buxbaum is the author of five novels, mostly for young adults, including the New York Times bestselling “Tell Me Three Things,” but before she started writing, she was a lawyer. So she knew what she was looking at when she sat down and read through the actual case that had been brought by the Massachusetts district attorney — all 500 pages of it. Even that wasn’t enough; as Buxbaum explained during a phone call, the scandal “wouldn’t let me go.”

For all the information she’d gleaned from the legalese, Buxbaum was still left with questions that reached beyond guilt or innocence. Which is what led her to write her sixth book, out next week. “Admission” is a young adult novel about a teenage girl named Chloe who has just discovered that her parents faked her way into her dream school — and now her mother, a B-list actress best known as a charming sitcom mom, may end up going to jail for it.

Though the details are ripped from the headlines, Buxbaum lets us know in the novel’s introduction that Chloe isn’t meant to be a cipher for any of its familiar faces: “I do not know anyone involved in the scandal, nor did I do any investigative reporting.”

She wrote the disclaimer, she explains, because “it was important to me that I was telling a larger story, not the particular story of the famous names.” She wanted to ask broader questions about privilege, complicity and what we allow ourselves to know about the unattractive underbellies of our lives.

While no one ever tells Chloe explicitly what’s being done for her, she spends much of the time half-noticing how oddly her parents are acting: the sudden arrival of a private college counselor, something her prep school expressly discourages; her parents’ insistence that she has a heretofore undiagnosed learning disability; her father asking for a picture of her where she looks “tan.”

“I’m always interested in that gray area in life where

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