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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
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Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
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July 30, 2002

Carolina in the News

Continued Summer Reading Program Coverage

The Fox News Channel program "Hannity and Colmes" featured Michael Sells, author 
of this year's summer reading program selection, "Approaching the Qur'an," and Joe 
, president of the Family Policy Network, on Friday, July 26. The focus of the 
program was the recent lawsuit against UNC involving the summer reading program. 

Edgy first college assignment: Study the Koran
The Christian Science Monitor 

Brynn Hardman was all set to sit back and glide through some Danielle Steel on 
Atlantic Beach this summer. Just graduated from high school in Raleigh, N.C., she 
was looking forward to a bit of light fare before hitting the heavy tomes of freshman 
year. Instead, the tanned teen is immersed in the curlicue phrasings of what would 
have been her personal last choice for beachside reading: the Koran.

Required reading (Commentary)
The Christian Science Monitor

Not being able to make their own choices can be jarring for teens in the heady days 
of summer before they start college. So it's not surprising that some freshmen headed
for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are griping about being required 
to read a book on the Koran before they arrive.

UNC stands up for education (Editorial)
Wilmington Morning Star 

UNC-Chapel Hill is being sued for allegedly trying to convert students to Islam. 
Actually, itís trying to turn them into adults who might begin to understand the 
complicated and dangerous world in which they will live.

Failed assignment (Editorial)
For such brilliant people, the folks at UNC-Chapel Hill are having a mighty hard 
time getting that summer-reading assignment right. First, they announced that this 
year's to read a book that discusses, and quotes extensively, the 
(Note: This editorial appeared in the News and Observer Sunday feature "Tar Heel 
Editors Speak
," reprinted from the Goldsboro News-Argus.)

Not indoctrination (Letter to the Editor)
As an entering freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill I would like to weigh in on the 
controversy over the summer reading assignment for freshmen involving the Quran.

Opening minds 
Regarding Dennis Rogers' July 24 column "Call us ignorant of Quran": Bravo! I 
have long believed that ignorance is not bliss, but rather it is dangerous. It divides 
us, allows us to harbor prejudicial stereotypes and prevents any truthful analysis of 
the world around us.

Students can handle it (Letter to the Editor)
Thanks to columnist Dennis Rogers for finally hitting the nail on the ugly head of this 
"Approaching the Qur'an" fiasco at UNC-Chapel Hill. Finally, someone is publicly 
saying how offensive it is to incoming freshmen to assume that the first thing we're 
going to do after reading this book is to see how we too can become Islamic 

Faith's intolerance (Letter to the Editor)
Dennis Rogers has hit the nail on the head once again. Religious leaders should be 
welcoming the chance for people to learn more about other religions and what it is 
people believe in, so fellow Christians will have the knowledge and understanding 
to declare why Christianity is the right choice

Only a partial picture (Letter to the Editor) 
Dennis Rogers' assessment of UNC-Chapel Hill's freshmen Quran reading assignment 
and the Family Policy Network legal response is like building half of a bridge, i.e., 
it's rendered faulty by half. Here's why.

What if required reading were about Christianity? (Letter to the Editor)
The Charlotte Observer

In response to "UNC and the Quran" (July 29 editorial). We all know that The 
Observer would never try to sell the "intellectual voyage" of the UNC required reading, 
"Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations," if it were entitled "An Introduction 
to Christianity."

Christianity's merit (Letter to the Editor)

Regarding Dennis Rogers' July 24 column in favor of requiring UNC-Chapel Hill 
freshmen to read excerpts from the Quran, I wonder what his position, and what 
the hue and cry would be, if the university required incoming students to read the 
first five books of the New Testament?

Current National Coverage

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

Current International Coverage

The key to gracious living
The Economist (UK)

ABOUT ten years ago, the French found something they had a legitimate right to 
feel smug about. To their astonishment, epidemiologists began to notice that French 
people, who wash down meals laced with cream, cheese and animal fat with flagons 
of wine, not only live longer, but also suffer less heart disease, than people from other 
countries... Their subjects were participants in a long-term heart study of students 
from the University of North Carolina who had entered that institution in the 1960s.

Current National Coverage

Regimens: When P.E. Class Includes Exercise
The New York Times

Changing physical education classes so that students spend more class time in 
motion can yield measurable improvements in fitness, a new study reports... The 
lead author, Dr. Robert G. McMurray of the University of North Carolina, and 
his colleagues based their findings on an experiment conducted in four school systems 
in the state.
(Note: The New York Times requires free registration to access articles. 
This coverage resulted from a UNC news release
Other coverage includes The Washington Post

Times Announces Selection of Four Editors for Senior Posts
The New York Times

Appointments of four editors to senior positions were announced yesterday by The 
New York Times... Jim Roberts, the deputy national editor, will become national 
editor, overseeing The Times's 25-member reporting staff throughout the United 
States outside of Washington... He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina 
at Chapel Hill

Army Grapples With Domestic Violence
Baltimore Sun 

A soldier's life is filled with challenges and difficulties, from basic training to the 
battleground. But it's rare that those stresses have the deadly consequences that have 
shaken the Army at Fort Bragg... Domestic violence usually occurs in the ranks of 
younger soldiers who have young children and little money, said Dennis Orthner, a 
professor at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina 
at Chapel Hill
(Note: Other pick-up of this national Associated Press story featuring Orthner includes 
The New York Times Online, St Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri), the Deseret News 
(Utah), and the Bradenton Herald (Florida).)

Planning the Future of Plant Genomics
The Scientist 

Plant genomics researchers stand at a crossroads. Behind them are the completed 
genome sequences of rice1 and the model mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana... 
Although the research options are seemingly infinite, the funding is not. Despite funding 
increases, the interagency NPGI budget pales in comparison to that of the NIH, a 
fact not lost on the NRC workshop's chairman Jeff Dangl, a professor of biology at 
the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who specializes in plant disease 
resistance and cell death control.
(Note: The Scientist requires free registration to access articles.)

Congressmen-turned-lobbyists offer expertise, contacts
Star Tribune (Minnesota)

It's been more than a decade since Dennis McGrann worked for former Minnesota 
Congressman Gerry Sikorski, but he's kept his Minnesota connections... "A lot of people 
think it should be outlawed, but many political scientists have a more benign view," said 
University of North Carolina political scientist Virginia Gray, a former University of 
Minnesota professor and an expert on lobbying.

Regional News

The nagging season
Sun News (South Carolina)

Alan Schilling admits he nags his parents for things he sees on television, in magazines 
or in stores. The 13-year-old has a nagging style he says sometimes works - more often 
on his mom, Susan, who proclaims: "I'm the pushover."... "Kids and their friends talk 
about a whole lot of products," said Tom Bowers, associate dean of University of
North Carolina Chapel Hill's journalism school
who teaches advertising.

Reviving an oyster ecosystem in N.C.
The Virginian-Pilot

Nags Head Woods Preserve steward Aaron McCall anchored the small skiff in the 
southeastern corner of the Pamlico Sound, dove in and disappeared under the water. 
Seconds later, he surfaced with a large piece of marl... But after discovering that there 
were no oysters there, conservation officials and scientists began looking for the reason 
why. They called in Hal Summerson, a researcher with the University of North 
Carolina at Chapel Hill
's Institute of Marine Sciences.

North Carolina News Notes

Doug Shackelford, Associate Dean in the Master of Accounting Program and 
the Meade H. Willis Professor of Taxation in the Kenan-Flager School of Business 
was interviewed on WUNC's "The State of Things." The program airs at noon and is 
re-broadcasted at 8 p.m. To listen to the program via the Internet, go to

Springboard Enterprises, a national, not-for-profit venture, was featured on Local
, a subscription-based online service focusing on the business of technology. 
Springboard Enterprises is a forum dedicated to increasing women's participation in the 
equity capital markets as both entrepreneurs and investors. UNC's Kenan-Flagler 
Business School
's participation in the forum as the host partner was highlighted. 

State and Local Coverage

UNC chemist wins award 

Joseph DeSimone has many awards in his career as a UNC chemist, most of which 
placed him in the impressive company of his contemporaries within the world of science.

Town to keep tabs on waste site 
Town Council members say they want to be kept apprised of progress as UNC attempts 
to clean up a chemical dump on the Horace Williams property.

Waste sites to be evaluated 
Town officials plan to seek outside help to evaluate the potential hazards of an abandoned 
landfill and onetime chemical waste dump on UNC-Chapel Hill's Horace Williams 
property. The two sites have been the subject of scrutiny since Chancellor James Moeser 
announced in April that he planned to close the Horace Williams Airport.

UNC building program not essential state spending (Letter to the Editor)
Since The Chapel Hill Herald took issue with my recent paper for the John Locke 
Foundation advocating a moratorium on further higher ed bonds sales until the stateís 
budget is not awash in red ink, I would like to respond.

Scientist's creation no small find 
Otto Zhou and his colleague Jianping Lu were griping one day over lunch about their X-
ray machine in the lab of the physics department at UNC-Chapel Hill. The machine was 
constantly breaking because of the high temperatures required to produce the X-ray -- 
more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. Wasn't there a better way?
(Note: This coverage was the result of News Services' pitching efforts. Zhou's research 
was the subject of a recent UNC News Services release

Student activists hit the road to teach democracy
College activists also known as "Freedom Riders" helped push back the barriers of racism 
and elitism that kept African-American voters from the polls... The 10 students -- some 
from N.C. Central, N.C. State, Wake Forest University, Peace College and East Carolina 
University -- included three from UNC-Chapel Hill: Brock Towler, Tre Jones and Nolan 

Noted scholar of Islam leaving Shaw 
Waist-high stacks of books and empty white Postal Service containers vie for space in 
Professor Ihsan Bagby's office at Shaw University. In two weeks, the soft-spoken professor 
of international studies will be gone -- part of a reconfiguration of the American academic 
landscape... The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill just added a second 
Islamicist to its department of religious studies. Edward Curtis will teach about Islam 
among African-Americans... "Fifty years ago, the study of religion was Bible and theology," 
said Carl Ernst, a professor of religion who specializes in Islam at UNC-CH.

UNC Hospital Fuel Spill Contained 

Workers have contained diesel fuel that was spilled during the night from a tank at UNC 
Hospitals. Officials say none of the fuel threatened public safety or water supplies, and an 
undetermined amount that entered a small stream. Officials expected to pump that fuel out 
(Note: This recent spill was the subject of a UNC news release this morning Other coverage includes 

Behind the Scenes: Customer service rep doesnít believe in regrets (Question and Answer)

Meet Summer Saadah, the Customer Service Representative at the IT Response Center 
(help desk) on the UNC campus. Saadah has transformed multitasking into a fine art as she 
handles multiple customer issues with expertise and a smile.

Towns mull options as drought toughens
Charlotte Observer

A serious four-year drought threatening water supplies in some Gaston County towns is 
prompting new calls for solutions to regional water-supply problems... "I looked at 
Gaston County's water supply a few years ago, and I found it to be one of the most 
disjointed systems in the state," said David Moreau, professor of water resources and 
environmental services
at UNC Chapel Hill

Man held after threats to family 

A man has been accused of shooting one of his sister's dogs and threatening to kill his 
family. Michael Cary Alston, 27, of 61 Rufus C. Burnette Drive, was charged Thursday 
evening with felony cruelty to animals, three counts of misdemeanor communicating threats 
and three counts of misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun, Sheriff Ike Gray said. Alston, 
who resigned Friday from his position as a laboratory animal technician at UNC-
Chapel Hill, is being held at the Chatham County Jail under $25,000 bail.

Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina

Chapel Hill OKs tax hike 

With no idea how much money the town will get from the cash-strapped state this fiscal 
year, the Town Council on Friday raised property taxes to pay for essential services.

Long live the mighty oak 
After enduring violent hurricanes and persistent construction, the Southern Red Oak on 
Copeland Farm recently faltered during one of the worst droughts in state history... 
Historic trees in other Triangle cities and towns appear to be surviving without exemptions, 
in many cases thanks to alternate water sources. At UNC-Chapel Hill, the poplar under 
which William R. Davie supposedly sited the school in 1792 has benefited from abundant 
well water.

Growing a village 
The brick buildings around the town square in Meadowmont are still mostly empty, 
waiting for residents and businesses to bring life to one of the Triangle's first villages built 
from scratch... Small compared with many Triangle projects, Meadowmont nevertheless 
generated fierce opposition in Chapel Hill, where residents resist threats to their small-
town atmosphere.

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