July 15, 2002
Carolina in the News
Current International Coverage
Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina people
and programs cited recently in the international and national media:
States Brace For Cigarette Backlash
The Guardian (UK)
As state after deficit-ridden state ratchets up cigarette taxes, authorities are bracing for
some unwelcome consequences in the form of more aggressive smuggling and bolder
use of the Internet as a tax-evading tobacco shop... ``Most vendors aren't turning over
their customer list, so the Internet is becoming a hotbed of tax evasion,'' said Kurt Ribisl,
a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. Ribisl oversaw
a study this year that identified 195 Internet cigarette vendors, up from 88 a year earlier.
He said most advertise low-tax cigarettes and indicate they won't report to any authorities.
(Note: Other pick-up known to date of this national Associated Press includes the
Canadian Press, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania), Centre Daily Times
(Pennsylvania), Contra Costa Times (California), St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota),
Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio), Sun News (South Carolina), Aberdeen American News
(South Dakota), Durham Herald-Sun, and the Nando Times.)
Current National Coverage
The Chronicle of Higher Education
When officials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill anointed a book on Islam
for a summer reading program, they raised eyebrows as much as cultural awareness. The
university is requiring its 3,500 incoming freshmen to read Approaching the Qur'án: The
Early Revelations (White Cloud Press, 1999), by Michael Sells, a professor of religion at
Haverford College. An academic book, it explores the Islamic scriptures and contains 35
suras, similar to psalms or parables in the Bible.
(Note: News Services supplied The Chronicle with information about the summer reading
program as part of a query its news staff made earlier this summer via Profnet, an online
service matching journalists with sources and access to information. The Chronicle of
Higher Education requires subscription to access articles.)
America's Best Hospitals
US News and World Report
UNC Hospitals ranked in the top 25 in six different specialties in the 13th annual edition
of "America's Best Hospitals" by US News and World Report magazine. The survey
consisted of 205 top medical centers, winnowed from 6,045, in 17 specialties. Among
the rankings, UNC ranked 5th in cancer, 18th in digestive disorders, 22nd in ear, nose
and throat, 26 in geriatrics, 14th in gynecology, 25th in hormonal disorders, 27th in
kidney disease, and 20th in respiratory disorders. To see the magazine's report on the
rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/usnews/nycu/health/hosptl/tophosp.htm. To
view the methodology used, visit
A UNC Health Care release also is at
A related Durham Herald-Sun story is at:
State and Local Coverage
Board OKs tuition cut for Kenan-Flagler grad students
Graduate students at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School will have their tuition
scaled back under a plan approved Friday. The UNC system Board of Governors
approved the measure, which reduces campus-specific tuition increases for students
in the master’s of business administration and master’s of accounting programs.
Safeguard UNC System (Opinion-Editorial Column)
The N.C. Constitution says "the General Assembly shall provide... higher education...
as far as practicable... to the people of the State free of expense." While the state's projected
budget shortfall of $2 billion may force a 2.39 percent cut to the UNC system, we must
remember that providing quality education at the lowest possible cost to students is essential
if UNC is to continue in accordance with the intent of its founders.
(Note: Ashley Castevens is a UNC sophomore and assistant vice president of the student
UNC takes interest in new mental hospital
As the state begins its review of sites for a new mental hospital, university officials say
they will continue to press for a location that won't damage longtime ties with university
teaching and research programs. "For us, it is important that we maintain what has been
an outstanding 50-year relationship with Dorothea Dix," Dr. Robert Golden, chair of
UNC-Chapel Hill's department of psychiatry, said in a recent interview.
OWASA declares first level of water restriction
Don't let the gloriously cool weather this weekend and the big rain last Wednesday fool
you. Orange Water and Sewer Authority's water supply continues, day by day, to
dwindle. Water consumption continues to far outstrip the ability of local reservoirs to
replenish themselves. If no significant rainfall occurs, and if consumption remains as high
as it's been, OWASA says its reservoirs will, for all practical purposes, run dry by
Christmas... UNC, which has a separate arrangement with OWASA, also moved last
week to head off a future water emergency, enacting conservation measures of its own
to limit its use of OWASA-supplied water.
UNC has big role in conserving water
By far the largest single consumer of Orange Water and Sewer Authority water is
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Actually, "single consumer" is something of
a misnomer; OWASA Executive Director Ed Kerwin said the university's various facilities,
buildings, departments and services hold more than 250 separate accounts with the water
utility. But all in all, including UNC Hospitals, the university consumes 25 percent to 30
percent of all the water supplied by OWASA.
(Note: This story originated as a UNC news release
http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/jul02/waterplan071202.htm. Ray DuBose, director of
energy services, was interviewed about the university's water savings plans on a Friday
newscast of Channel 14 (Time-Warner). The News and Observer and Durham Herald-
Sun also have reported UNC's plans.)
THE QUR’AN CONTROVERSY: UNC book choice defensible (Editorial)
First of all, it would be a frivolous lawsuit. Despite what Christian advocacy group The
Family Policy Network might think, the university clearly has every right to assign whatever
book it wants as required summer reading for incoming students. That would include this
year’s selection, “Approaching The Qur’an.”
Ruins of Spanish fort can be seen in N.C.
The site of a 16th-century Spanish fort will open to the public Saturday for the first time.
Experts say the creekside land in rural Burke County, about 90 miles northwest of Charlotte,
is the first spot in the interior of North America where physical evidence exists of an early
European settlement... "Finding the forts was like looking for a needle in a haystack,"
said David Moore, assistant professor of anthropology at Warren Wilson College and
project co-director with Beck and Chris Rodning, a doctoral student at UNC Chapel Hill.
UNC professor introduces re-release of civil rights leader’s book
As a leader in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in the
early 1900s, Walter White was a daring investigator, plunging himself into dangerous
situations to document abuse of black Americans. A light-skinned black man, White
could pass for white, and did so often during his investigations in the deep South. He
chronicled his exploits in a stark, descriptive book entitled "Rope and Faggot," but his
life and work were largely forgotten after his death in 1955. The book was re-released
earlier this year and the introduction was written by Kenneth Janken, a UNC associate
professor of African and Afro-American studies.
Wave of deaths hits area waters
Summer has started off deadly on Charlotte-area lakes, with a rash of drownings and
a fatal boating accident prompting new concerns about water safety... "A lot of people
drown in very remote locations that no one could ever get to if you're in trouble," said
Robert Foss, a University of North Carolina researcher. "There's damn near nothing
you can do to prevent those."
FOOTNOTES: Student group wants space
The UNC Association of Student Governments, the student-run group that includes
representatives from various UNC campuses, is starting its first office with a paid administrator.
But students say they don't want to be in the same Chapel Hill building with the rest of the
UNC system honchos.
Novelist, teacher McLaurin, 48
Tim McLaurin drove over to his buddy's house a couple of weeks ago, plopped down
on the couch in his workshop and propped up his feet on his friend's latest creation. McLaurin
admired the craftsmanship. The piece, stained and fashioned of pine with horseshoes for
handles, was perfect... Raised on the family farm outside Fayetteville, McLaurin spent a
couple of years in the Marines, then took on college in fits and starts at different schools,
eventually earning a journalism degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in the mid-1980s.
(Note: Other coverage includes The Washington Post
Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina
Insurance exec to lead UNC system Board of Governors
Bradley Wilson, a senior vice president with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, was
unanimously elected chairman of the UNC system Board of Governors on Friday. Wilson, a
board member since 1997, assumed the seat vacated by Ben Ruffin, who stepped down after
two terms at the helm of the 32-member board.
Ruffin ends historic UNC board chairmanship
Ben Ruffin gaveled for the last time Friday, bringing to an end his historic tenure as the first
black chairman of the UNC system’s Board of Governors. Long considered a good-old-boy
network and still comprised largely of middle-aged white men, the board got a shake-up four
years ago when Ruffin won the chairmanship by a single vote.
FOOTNOTES: UNC gets below-budget bids
The UNC bond-funded building program is being helped by a poor economy and low interest
rates. Two-thirds of the projects are in some stage of design and construction; and so far, bids
have averaged 13.9 percent below budget. Seventy bids have come in below budget, and only
one, a renovation at Fayetteville State University, was over budget.
Preserving research (Letter to the Editor)
Thank you for your "Overhead protector" editorial on July 2. It is about time that our state's
leading newspaper helped led the way to protect one of our most important economic assets
in the state. The General Assembly has a daunting task of balancing the budget in a fair and
Downtown faces 'doughnut' effect
At first glance, Town Councilman Bill Strom’s fretting about downtown and doughnuts has nothing
to do with the lack of a Krispy Kreme on Franklin Street. But it could -— if the chain ever passes
up a chance to open a store there in favor of establishing an outpost somewhere on the fringes of
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