Jan. 16, 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

Renewed evidence suggests statin/Parkinson's link
Reuters (International)

New research showing a strong link between Parkinson's disease and low levels of "bad" cholesterol are so worrying that U.S. researchers are launching a study to look into it. The team at the University of North Carolina is planning clinical trials involving thousands of people to see whether statin drugs, which lower low density lipoprotein, or LDL, might actually cause Parkinson's in some people.
Related link: http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Statins-

UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/dec06/parkinsonsldl121806.htm

Doctors pre-empt study by dismissing link between Parkinson’s and statins
The Herald (United Kingdom)

While scientists are preparing an in-depth study of the link between Parkinson's disease and statins, some eminent medics are pre-empting the results and have dismissed the suggestion. ...Researchers in America are planning a large-scale clinical trial on the link after experts, led by Xuemei Huang from the University of North Carolina, said they had found the strongest link yet between Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and Parkinson's.
Related links: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/health/


Statin heart drugs are linked to Parkinson's
The Times (London)

Research suggesting a possible link between the statin heart drugs being taken by millions of people and Parkinson’s disease has prompted scientists to launch an investigation involving tens of thousands of patients. ...A study at the University of North Carolina, however, has shown that patients with low levels of LDL cholesterol are more than three and a half times as likely to develop the disease as those with higher LDL levels. Xuemei Huang, who led the research, said that she was very concerned by the finding.
Related links: http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1990648,00.html

Researchers Report Rise in Syphilis Cases in China
Voice of America

The number of new syphilis cases in China, according to the latest study, has risen dramatically after the sexually-transmitted disease had been virtually wiped out. ...Myron Cohen of the University of North Carolina co-authored the study. "The prevalence of syphilis has risen very steeply, especially in sex workers and then in some urban cities," said Myron Cohen.
Related link: http://www.destinationsante.com/en_depeche.php?id_rubrique=65&id_article=20496&cat=1
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jan07/chinasyphilis.htm

Watch what you drink
The Toronto Sun (Canada)

"Aren't you being a bit inconsistent? You're always advising others to cut down on sugar. Then before dinner you have a rum and coke. Don't you realize that rum is made from sugar?" ...Dr. Barry M. Popkin, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, reports in Nutrition Action that in the U.S., on average, people obtain 21% of their calories from beverages.
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/mar06/healthybeverage030806.htm

Ethics charges loom for Duke prosecutor
The Associated Press (International)

Forced by allegations of misconduct to recuse himself, the prosecutor who drove the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case could end up losing much more than the opportunity to try a case he still believes in. ...University of North Carolina law professor Joseph Kennedy said the accuser's Dec. 21 interview with Nifong's investigator, in which she changed several key details in her description of the alleged attack, is also a concern.

Amazing Amazon
The Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada)

The Amazon, the world's largest river by volume, empties into the Atlantic Ocean. But it used to flow in the opposite direction, emptying into the Pacific, according to a team of geologists. ...According to researchers at the University of North Carolina, this mineral could only have come from the Purus Arch, an ancient mountain range that has now eroded away.
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/oct06/mapesamazon101906.htm

National Coverage

Statins Linked to Alzheimer's?
Ivanhoe Newswire

The results of a recent study has scientists concerned about a possible link between statins -- the cholesterol-lowering class of drugs -- and Parkinson's disease. ...UNC researcher Xuemei Huang, M.D., Ph.D., reports the link raises questions about whether cholesterol-lowering drugs, like statins, could increase a person's risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
Related link: http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/0002538/37/
Note: Ivanhoe has a syndicated television series and its reports are broadcast in 250 markets reaching 80 million U.S. households.
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/dec06/parkinsonsldl121806.htm

A Mission of Understanding
The Washington Post

Danny Leydorf's world was about to be turned upside down, and he couldn't wait. ..."It was that old evangelical impulse to stay in the public schools as a witness, as a presence," said University of North Carolina sociologist David Sikkink. Evangelicals would talk about the importance of having their children "battle-tested" by the public schools, he said.

Prosecutor wants out
The Washington Post

After months of stinging criticism about his handling of the Duke University sexual assault investigation, Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong sought to bow out of the case yesterday, requesting that the North Carolina attorney general's office handle the prosecution. ...Joe Kennedy, an associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that if there is strong evidence that a crime was committed, a new prosecutor could divorce himself from Nifong's ethical problems.

N.C. Bar tries to halt online legal info firm
McClatchy Newspapers

With a click of his mouse, Joe Bruno thought he was ending his marriage. ...The Internet has seen a significant increase of Web sites that offer legal information, allowing many consumers to do-it-themselves when it comes to handling divorces, lawsuits and other routine court cases, said Laura Gasaway, a law professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Whooping cough making a comeback
McClatchy Newspapers

When Debbie Quinn’s newborn son developed a runny nose and a cough within weeks of his birth in June, Quinn figured he had picked up her husband’s lingering cold. ...“A lot of people will try to tough it out at home,” said Dr. Tom Belhorn, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UNC Hospitals. “But if you have a persistent cough that lasts for a couple of weeks, you need to be seen by a physician.”

Regional Coverage

Law school has human side
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)

Law-school students are graduating with solid knowledge of doctrine and case law but very little understanding of the moral and practical obligations of being an attorney, a recent study found. ...What they found is that law schools have a "really powerful method" of ingraining case law and doctrine into the minds of students, said Judith Welch Wegner, an author of the study and law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Job market picks up for MBA graduates
The San Francisco Chronicle

They carry stacks of resumes, wear sober suits and keep their cell phones and laptops perpetually at hand. ...Kate Blanchard, a first-year MBA student at the University of North Carolina, said the quality of career services was a major factor in selecting which school to attend.

Makeover planned to improve business appeal of airport area
The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

When local law enforcement targeted the Black Tail Shake Joint on Brooks Road recently, alleging more than 30 incidents of prostitution and pornographic acts, officials at Smith & Nephew surely cheered. ...John Kasarda, director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina and a main proponent of aerotropolises -- cities built around the economic power of airports -- said visitors to the city's airport may get a less-than-favorable impression of the city.

NWA filing deems stock worthless
The Detroit News

With an eye toward emerging from bankruptcy by summer, Northwest Airlines filed a preliminary reorganization plan in federal court on Friday, asking that all common and preferred stock be deemed worthless, but leaving out many details of its future plans. ...Dr. John D. Kasarda, distinguished professor of management at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and an expert on airline infrastructure, said it's not surprising that Northwest shareholders will lose their investment.

Prof offers his insight on Mideast
The Grand Rapids Press (Mich.)

He was born in the United States, grew up in Iran and witnessed first-hand the horrors of Saddam Hussein's brutality against his own people, as well as against Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war. ...(Omid) Safi is an associate professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina, specializing in contemporary Islamic thought and medieval Islamic history.

State and Local Coverage

UNC seeks mentors for international students
The Chapel Hill Herald

Ji-Hyun Lee's first time in the United States was when she left South Korea to study at UNC. ...The hosts, who do not provide housing or financial assistance to the students, include families with children, retirees and single professionals, said Diana Levy, assistant director at UNC's Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

Marine covers a lot of ground, does a lot of good
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

Rye Barcott is a man of multiple missions, daunting duties and daring drive. ...As an ROTC undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill, Barcott co-edited a symposium book, "Armed Conflict in Africa." He also traveled in 2000 to the east African slum of Kibera, on the edge of Nairobi, Kenya's capital, to research his honors thesis on ethnic violence and youth culture.
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/oct06/youngalumni101706.htm

Both NCSU and UNC outpacing campaign hopes
Triangle Business Journal

Capital campaigns mounted by North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are bringing home the bacon, with NCSU having secured $1 billion and UNC poised to blow through the $2 billion mark well ahead of deadline.
Note: Subscription required.

Edwards and center gain from each other
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

For two years, the anti-poverty center at UNC Chapel Hill has served as a vehicle for former Democratic Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina to talk about the issue that has become a central piece of his quest for the White House. ..."There was skepticism both within and outside the university whether this would be a genuine academic, worthwhile exercise," said Jack Boger, dean of the UNC law school, where the center is housed. "My opinion is that it has exceeded everyone's expectations."

'The story' unfolds
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

The moment of truth comes midway through the interview with Rob Barner, an Air National Guard technical sergeant who opposes the war in Iraq, and his peace activist wife, Stefani. ...As faithful WUNC listeners know from 11 months of "The Story With Dick Gordon," the host asks such things out of intellectual curiosity and an empathy that helps Stefani acknowledge her true feelings.

A sound team, a good show
The Durham News

Part reporting, part magic and all teamwork, "The State of Things" is a live, one-hour radio show produced daily from WUNC's offices at the American Tobacco Historic District in downtown Durham. The host, Frank Stasio, 54, is propped up by a senior producer, two producers, a managing editor and an engineer. "When it's good, it sounds easy," says Susan Davis, the senior producer and an 11-year veteran of public radio.

Only for die-hard Duke or UNC fans
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

Do you bleed Carolina blue? Or are you a Duke-till-I-die fan? Have your universities got a deal for you. ...So in 2005, UNC dedicated Memorial Grove, a patch of woods just outside the cemetery, to accommodate the ashes of those with strong UNC ties.

New Ackland Art Museum director has all the right skills (Opinion-column)
The Herald-Sun (Durham)

Emily Kass, the new director of the Ackland Art Museum at UNC, joins the very small but elite group of distinguished museum directors in the Triangle. She comes to the job with 26 years of museum experience. Hers is a case study in how hard work, continuing education and flexibility pay off.
Note: No link available.

Reed honored for service to National Guard
The Asheville Citizen-Times

Deborah Reed, a community program liaison working in Western North Carolina on behalf the Citizen-Soldier Support Program at UNC Chapel Hill, received the N.C. National Guard Civilian Commendation Medal in a ceremony Nov. 5 at the North Hominy Community Center in Canton.
UNC News brief: http://www.unc.edu/news/briefs/2007/010907.htm

PlayMakers production of 'Stones' is actor-driven play
The Herald-Sun (Durham)

The director and half the cast of "Stones in His Pockets" may experience deja vu when the PlayMakers production opens Wednesday at UNC's Paul Green Theatre. David Alley and David Friedlander co-star in multiple roles in the Marie Jones play about what happens when a Hollywood film crew descends on a rural Irish town. John Feltch directs.
Note: No link available.
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jan07/stones010507.htm

Local School Helps In Diabetes Study
WNCN-TV (NBC, Raleigh)

Students across the state are learning an important lesson -- how to protect themselves from diabetes. ...University of North Carolina researchers hope to slow this trend, which is why they're involved with a national project called the healthy study.
UNC News Release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/oct06/healthy100206.htm

Hoping is not a strategy; it's time to disengage (Opinion-editorial column)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

The president's decision to raise American troop levels and seek to force the Iraqi government to change its behavior represents one last, desperate gamble to save a failing policy. ...Richard H. Kohn is Omar N. Bradley professor of strategic leadership at the U.S. Army War College and Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. He is on leave from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he is a professor of history and peace, war and defense.

Nifong steps aside
The News & Observer (Raleigh)

District Attorney Mike Nifong asked to be taken off the Duke lacrosse case Friday after hiring a lawyer to defend him against misconduct charges and meeting with the woman who accused three players of raping her. ..."They are not absolutely protected for misstatements they make at press conferences or actions they took as an investigator," said William Marshall, a constitutional law expert at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Ethics law applies to judicial officials
The Winston-Salem Journal

A new state ethics law primarily meant to tighten lobbying regulations also requires judicial officials to report a detailed list of financial interests, which some local judicial officials said are necessary but intrusive. ...Judicial officials across the state have questioned why they have been included in the law, which went into effect Jan. 1, said James C. Drennan, a court expert at the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This might sting a bit: Millions sought for docs
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
State elected officials likely already know they're going to be asked for millions in taxpayer dollars to beef up the state's supply of dentists when the legislature convenes next week. ...The School of Dentistry at UNC-Chapel Hill plans to ask the legislature to appropriate $96 million to help pay for that school's planned $125 million expansion.

Pushing for alternative medicine
The Charlotte Observer

Five and a half years ago, when Dr. Russ Greenfield returned to Charlotte from a fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona, his dream was to change the health care landscape. ...He called North Carolina "a hotbed" for integrative medicine, citing efforts at Duke, UNC Chapel Hill and Wake Forest.

City to take up zoning issues
The Asheville Citizen-Times

The Asheville City Council today will take up two thorny zoning issues, including one that has dominated talk over whether the city has been too easy on developers. ...But Bellamy wrote to Staples after a review by UNC Chapel Hill zoning law professor David Owens showed some problems, including a sign that might violate size restrictions and zoning bonuses for pedestrian street access when there is none.

Hackney represents fresh start
The Rocky Mount Telegram

When N.C. House Democrats met Wednesday in Raleigh to pick a new House speaker, they knew they were looking for a change. ..."I think it's a little bit more than a bump in the road," said Thad Beyle, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "Black ran things pretty tough. I think this will be a significant shift in terms of style."

Taylortown Audit Raises Concerns
The Southern Pines Pilot

An independent audit of Taylortown's finances for the 2005-2006 fiscal year revealed a healthy fiscal picture. ...Greg Allison, a professor with the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a telephone interview that the Local Government Commission in the state Treasurer's office receives a copy of every independent audit conducted for every municipality, no matter how large or small.

Issues and Trends

Public cost of biotech campus may rise
The Associated Press (N.C.)

California billionaire David Murdock plans to ask for $160 million in bond money -- more than twice as much as government leaders planned on in November -- to build and develop a biotechnology campus in Kannapolis. ...Murdock has won support from the state and leaders at the Triangle's largest universities. UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State and Duke all plan to partner on various projects on the campus.
Related link: http://www.wral.com/business/local_tech_wire/opinion/blogpost/1137937/

UNC president wants more systemwide efforts
The Herald-Sun (Durham)/The Chapel Hill Herald

A year into his job, UNC President Erskine Bowles gave a self-assessment Friday, saying he did not do enough to promote public service at the university system. ... Each UNC campus does service in "a zillion different ways," Bowles said. But system-wide leaders should "bring our collective energy as one university to focus on public service," he said.
Note: No link available.

UNC system considers new tests
News 14 Carolina (Time Warner, Raleigh)

Across the state, students in the UNC system are returning to campus. Eric Carlberg is one of them. ...While he waits to find out, the UNC Board of Governors is considering ways to make sure he has learned what he needed to get in. The board is looking at a new accountability plan for all 16 of its campuses.

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, http://www.unc.edu/news/clips/index.shtml.

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