Aug. 6, 2007

Carolina in the News

Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina people and programs cited recently in the media:

International Coverage

Young women earn more than men in big U.S. cities
Reuters (wire service
Young women who want to beat men to the big bucks should get a one-way ticket to the closest big U.S. city, a New York study showed. ..."Many of the leading companies in industries like advertising or finance are in big cities," said Marcia Harris, director of career services at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. "These employers are more conscious of affirmative action and diversity and are looking for talented women who can rapidly move up in the ranks."

Defects in critical gene lead to accelerated lung tumor growth

Cancer causing mutations occur in our bodies every day – but luckily, we have specific genes that recognize these malignant events and keep cells from growing out of control. ...Now scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School have added to the list another powerful tumor suppressor, a gene called LKB1. ...“Defects in this gene appear to result in a much nastier form of lung cancer, a disease that is bad to begin with,” said Dr. Norman Sharpless, an assistant professor of medicine and genetics in the UNC School of Medicine, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and a senior author of the study.
UNC News Release:

Soaring Temperatures Causes Death to Middle, High School Footballers

IN the scorching summer more boys die while playing or practicing football because their brain couldn’t keep up with rising body temperature. Fred [Mueller], professor of exercise and sports science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, compiling a list of the children died says no child should be on the list.
UNC News Release:

A probiotic recipe for good health
The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

It sounds downright risky, but snacking on billions of live bacteria can actually improve digestion, support the immune system and bolster overall health. ..."At this point, it seems the enthusiasm for probiotics use in most medical conditions has certainly outpaced the scientific evidence," said Yehuda Ringel, an assistant professor of gastroenterology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine who recently published a paper calling them a "safe" but unproven treatment for irritable-bowel syndrome.

National Coverage

Accredited Home Lenders' filing a subprime 'obituary'
USA Today

Accredited Home Lenders (LEND) is hardly a household name or even an industry leader. But its delayed 2006 annual filing, just filed with regulators Thursday, reveals how the subprime debacle has turned into a nightmare for lenders. ...It's a dramatic departure from Accredited's 2005 filing. The 2006 risk-factors section doubled in size to 24 pages, the words "going concern," "margin call" and "waiver" appear nine, 27 and 34 times, respectively, but not once in the 2005 filing, says John Hand, accounting professor at the University of North Carolina.

Updates on Billion-Dollar Campaigns at 26 Universities
The Chronicle of Higher Education

The 26 American universities that are seeking to raise at least $1-billion collected a total of $1.285-billion in gifts and pledges during the last month for which they had data available. ...The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, $2.15-billion as of June 30 (increase of $22-million in the last month); the goal was $2-billion by 2007.

Experts See Tech Role For Bridge Safety, Disasters
National Journal's Technology Daily

The deadly collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minnesota this week points to the need for governments to hasten the use of advanced technologies that can assess structural vulnerabilities and improve disaster-response communications, some experts say. "If you think back to the beginning of bridge-building ... you build it, if it doesn't fall down, it works," said Dan Reed, chairman of the Computing Research Association and the chancellor's senior adviser for strategy and innovation at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Now, we've gained more and more intellectual insight into the forces on bridges [with computer modeling]."
Note: note available online. for a copy, email Crystal at

New Gene That Targeting Aggressive Lung Cancer Tumors Identified
HealthDay News

There are relatively few genes in the body that can spot growths leading to cancer. Scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School announced Sunday that they have discovered a powerful, tumor-suppressing gene, which they call LKB1. ..."Defects in this gene appear to result in a much nastier form of lung cancer, a disease that is bad to begin with," said senior author Dr. Norman Sharpless, assistant professor of medicine and genetics at the UNC School of Medicine, in a university news release.

Archaeologists uncover remains of Catawba village from 1750s
Indian Country Today

A gravel road heads south from Sutton Road, near Fort Mill, toward the Catawba River. In less than a mile, a temporary dirt road runs east into the woods to an excavation conducted by anthropologists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Regional Coverage

In poll, Jerseyans say New Yorkers are worst drivers
The Courier News (Bridgewater, NJ)

Have you ever been cut off or were on the wrong end of a discourteous traffic maneuver and noticed the errant vehicle had New York license plates? The usual reaction is "typical New Yorker driver!" According to a survey of New Jersey drivers sponsored by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety and Fairleigh Dickinson University's Public Mind, your suspicion about New York drivers isn't too far off. ...In another study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina, New Jersey's roads ranked last in the nation for traffic congestion. Montana highways were the deadliest in the nation with 2.3 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. The study was based on data from 1984 through 2005 and found that even though road conditions improved in recent years, traffic congestion and highway fatalities slightly increased.

Appeal of magic, quest for identity
The Sun News (Myrtle Beach)

Author Daniel Wallace doesn't just write books. He creates worlds. His latest effort, "Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician," weaves the tale of a mysterious illusionist told mostly through a ragtag band of circus freaks. Much like his earlier work "Big Fish," Wallace captures each character with eye-catching care. ...The author, a creative writing teacher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, manages to mix the childish appeal of magic with the adult quest for identity.

State & Local Coverage

Campus research hits budget jackpot
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

North Carolina has long been generous in its financial support of universities, and this year is no different. But another thing stands out in the new state budget approved by the legislature: big bucks for research. The centerpiece is a cancer research fund at UNC-Chapel Hill -- $25 million in the coming year, growing to $50 million a year starting in 2009. UNC leaders call it a spectacular gift that will catapult the school to the nation's top public cancer research center.
UNC News Releases:

Project aims to update state floodplain maps
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

After dozens of deaths and countless rescues from the 1999 deluge of Hurricane Floyd, those who kept North Carolina's floodplain maps faced a harsh truth. ...A cooperative research effort involving Duke University, UNC-CH and N.C. State University, RENCI was created by lawmakers in 2004, four years after the mapping program began. It is designed to solve problems that business and government often lack the time and money to tackle.
UNC News Release:

Recent grads advise on college
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A new national program based at UNC-Chapel Hill hopes to give college graduates the tools to help others follow in their footsteps. The National College Advising Corps puts recent graduates into high schools to serve as advisers to students who need help with applications or to influence some who might not be considering college.
UNC Media Advisory:
Note: WUNC-FM also aired a story on the advising corps during its morning newscasts today (Aug. 6).

Study: abuse, neglect made worse by deployments
The Chapel Hill Herald
Confirmed incidents of child abuse and neglect among Army families increase significantly when a parent is deployed to a combat zone, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International and the UNC School of Public Health. ..."Although many military families manage to cope with the stress created by combat deployments, in other families this stress significantly impairs the parents' ability to care for their children appropriately," said study co-author Sandra Martin, a professor in the Department of Child and Maternal Health at the School of Public Health.
UNC News Release:

UNC ambassador to Virginia Tech helped campus heal (Tar Heel of The Week feature)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

Winston Crisp was on vacation in Ohio, about to pack his bag for the flight home, when he turned on the television and saw true horror. Thirty-two students and professors were dead and more than two dozen injured at Virginia Tech, victims of a student gunman with a history of disturbing behavior. ..."I knew every university worldwide was going to be affected by that," he says. ...Crisp, 40, UNC-Chapel Hill's assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, has spent his summer in Blacksburg, Va., sorting out the difficult issues of how universities should balance privacy, campus safety and treatment of mentally ill students.

Rosy financials for UNC Health
The Triangle Business Journal

UNC Health Care is poised to complete one of its strongest fiscal years ever, one buoyed by better-than-expected inpatient demand, healthy investment returns and an 8.5 percent operating margin at its flagship hospital in Chapel Hill. Full-year financial results for UNC Health Care, a system whose primary revenue-generating pieces are UNC Hospitals, Rex Hospital in Raleigh and the UNC Physicians and Associates network, won't be unveiled until the end of August. But system executives say preliminary results for fiscal 2007 indicate UNC Health Care could bag its highest operating margin in years. ...Meanwhile, the expenses that traditionally accompany growth in business - namely compensation for additional employees hired to meet service demands - probably won't be visible until next year, says Dr. Allen Daugird, medical director and vice president of ambulatory care for UNC Health Care.

Keep voting site where voters are (Editorial)
The Chapel Hill News

In the last election, more early-voting ballots were cast at the Morehead Planetarium than at any other early-voting site in Orange County. That makes sense. The planetarium, standing where the UNC campus meets East Franklin Street, is almost perfectly situated. It's conveniently within walking distance for the thousands of students, faculty and staff at the university and also for the many people who work and visit downtown every day. Unfortunately, the Morehead won't be available for early voting this time around. The Board of Elections announced earlier this year that circumstances at the planetarium will preclude its use as a polling site in the November election.
Related Link:

Medical students volunteer with tribes
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

he flat coastal plain, punctuated by trailers and cornfields, offers few clues that this is the home of the Waccamaw-Siouan Indians, a little-known tribe that has lived in southeastern North Carolina since the mid-1700s. But this small tribe has become the center of a movement that is quietly trying to change the future of an invisible, and often neglected, population. ..."American Indians live sicker and they die younger," said Anthony Fleg, a medical student at UNC-Chapel Hill who started the volunteer project. "It's unjust. But in the eyes of many folks, American Indians are not even on the radar."

Study aims to learn how Muslim communities address extremism
The Herald-Sun (Durham)

Learning how American Muslims address messages of extremism in their communities is the goal of a two-year study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Researchers at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill will use the information to recommend policies for reducing the likelihood the U.S. experiences the homegrown terrorism of Europe.
UNC News Release:

MBA programs offer twists of flexibility for their students
The Triangle Business Journal
There's not an MBA program worth its salt - at least not one that's highly regarded - that sits on its laurels instead of planning for the future. Successful ones are those whose leaders, while making good decisions in the present, are aware of the competition and show a willingness to be flexible. "Across the board, that is the challenge," says Michael Stepanek, director of MBA programs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

UNC and censorship (Letter to the Editor)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Regarding your Aug. 1 story "UNC employees group claims censorship": It's ironic that a university should fall prey to the temptation to censor its own employees by prior restraint. ...David Brannigan UNC-CH Employee Forum Vice Chairperson.

Afraid of debate? (Letter to the Editor)
The New & Observer (Raleigh)

I was disappointed to learn about an article being pulled from the University Gazette at UNC-CH ("UNC employees group claims censorship," Aug. 1). The topic of employee rights is one that would be of interest to many university employees. ...Altha Cravey Professor of Geography, UNC-CH.

Two towns to work together on annexation
The Star-News (Wilmington)

Surf City's expansion north on U.S. 17 toward Holly Ridge has officials from both municipalities talking about a formal annexation agreement. ...According to North Carolina statute, a municipality cannot annex land that's closer to the corporate limits of another one if the two towns have entered into a written annexation agreement, said Richard Ducker, associate professor of law and government at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Government.

Edwards stuck by point about Murdoch money
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

...North Carolina was praised last week for improving election accuracy. A study by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University's School of Law and two other law schools found that a majority of states do not conduct post-election audits in a way that is helpful, with one exception: "We are aware of only one state ...The report notes that UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Public Health audited elections in detail on 2006 primary and general elections, including information on electronic tallies and recounts and the accuracy of voting machines.

Lawsuit aims to silence karaoke
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

Copyright violations could kill karaoke at Cody's. On Monday, three music publishers filed a federal lawsuit against Cody's Chinese Bistro for three unlicensed performances at the Glenwood South night spot. ..."The law is about performance rights for the creators," said Paul Jones, a professor in copyright law at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bullfrog critics, rejoice
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

... Chapel Hill Town Council member Mark Kleinschmidt will give the welcome and Carrboro's current mayor, Mark Chilton, will issue a proclamation when the Orange County Peace Coalition holds "From Hiroshima to Iraq: Take the Nuclear Option Off the Table," at 7 p.m. Monday in the Gene Strowd Rose Garden at the Chapel Hill Community Center Park off Estes Drive. The hourlong commemoration will feature reflections, remarks by UNC-Chapel Hill historian Wayne Lee, music by Catherine Grodensky and Jim Magaw, chanting with Zen Buddhists and children's activities.

Issues & Trends

Seeing Gastonia through new eyes
The Charlotte Observer

I've always been interested in photography, a snapshot of an exact moment in time that stays frozen and ageless. On July 28, Joe DePriest wrote a column about photographer Lewis Hine, who photographed mill-working children, several in Gastonia, in the early 1900s, and Robert Allen UNC Chapel Hill professor who is trying to hunt down the descendants of the children.
Related Link:

Produced by News Services, Carolina in the News is an e-mail sampling of current news media coverage about Carolina people and programs, as well as issues and trends that affect the university. Stories usually will be online and available free for a limited time - often one to two weeks. Expiration dates before stories move to archives vary by media outlet. Some outlets require free user registration or a subscription.

Carolina in the News is also posted daily to the News Services Web page,

Please share any questions, comments or suggestions at