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Media Advisory

Not for publication

May 19, 2005 -- No. 249

Local angles: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Burlington

Tar Heel Bus Tour
to visit Charlotte, Burlington

Friday, May 20

North Carolina’s biggest city and a cancer prevention program will be the focus of the fifth and final day of the 2005 Tar Heel Bus Tour for 36 recent additions to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty and administration. The five-day tour (May 16-20) has featured 11 educational stops from the mountains to the coast.

In Charlotte, one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, tour participants will visit with past and present media personalities who have watched the development of the city and its businesses. In Burlington, the new Tar Heels will learn about a joint project between UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to use beauty salons to spread information about cancer prevention.

Judith Wegner, chair of the faculty and professor of law, is accompanying the group all week.

Tour background:

The Tar Heel Bus Tour began in 1997; since then, about 250 new UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and administrators have been on the tour. The group is traveling more than 1,000 miles in five days to learn about North Carolina topics including urban development, hog farming and an economy in transition. The tour is designed to teach participants about the state’s people, geography, economy, culture, history, education system and health and social issues.

The privately funded tour aims to help new faculty and administrators better understand the state where 82 percent of Carolina undergraduates grow up. Participants learn about the university’s commitment to North Carolina and the people it serves. Many stops highlight UNC-Chapel Hill outreach projects, including the stop in Burlington. The participants will be able to learn how their own research, teaching and public service can serve the state’s needs. For more background, visit http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/may05/bustour051505.html.

Carolina Connections: Mecklenburg County is home to 1,995 Carolina students and 14,710 alumni; Alamance County, to 349 students and 2,568 alumni.

Friday’s schedule and highlights:

8-10 a.m., Charlotte City Club, 121 W. Trade St., Charlotte

Charlotte’s growth parallels the success and advancement of its businesses. While many of North Carolina’s cities grew up under the influence of state and local government, Charlotte’s early business leaders determined that the city would grow up around its corporations.

The city now is a major financial center and is the headquarters of several large banks, including Wachovia and Bank of America.

Although Charlotte appears to be a modern city, it is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The city began in the mid-1700s at the crossroads of two American Indian trading roads.

Mecklenburg County now has a population of about 770,000, and Charlotte boasts the tallest building between Philadelphia and Atlanta with the Bank of America Corporate Center, at 871 feet.

Participants on the tour will talk with media personalities who have reported on the city’s rapid growth.

The chairman of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees, Richard "Stick" Williams, will host the breakfast and discussion on the top of the city’s Interstate Tower building. Williams is vice president of diversity, ethics and compliance for Duke Energy Co. in Charlotte. Other hosts are Beatrice Thompson, who hosts "The Front Page with Beatrice Thompson" on V101.9/WBAV-FM; Moira Quinn, senior vice president of communications and chief operating officer of Charlotte Center City Partners; Jack Claiborne, retired director of public relations at UNC-Charlotte, a Carolina graduate and member of the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame; and Bill Walker, WSOC-TV Channel 9 Eyewitness News anchor and Carolina graduate.

Williams can be reached at (704) 382-2500 or rtwillia@duke-energy.com; Thompson, at (704) 342-2644 or msbeathompson@yahoo.com; Quinn, at (704) 332-2227 or mquinn@charlottecentercity.org; Claiborne, at (704) 593-0305 or claiborb@bellsouth.net; and Walker, at Bill.Walker@wsoc-tv.com.

12-2:30 p.m., Unique Hair, 1400 N. Church St.; and Successful Styles, 425 S. Beaumont Ave., Burlington

Tour participants will visit two beauty salons to learn about a joint project between UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

BEAUTY (Bringing Education and Understanding to You) is a four-year research study funded by a grant from the American Cancer Society.

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers are joining with 62 beauty salons statewide to study how useful these salons are in promoting cancer prevention information to clients.

The project is aimed primarily at African-American women, as they are at higher risk of cancer than other populations. The study draws upon the relationship between cosmetologist and client, which provides a trusting environment to discuss health information.

Hosts for the Burlington stop are Veronica Carlisle, BEAUTY project director at UNC Lineberger; Dr. Laura Linnan, assistant professor of health behavior and health education at the School of Public Health and principal investigator of the project; Barbara Jones, owner of Unique Hair Salon; and Donna Poole, owner of Successful Styles.

Carlisle can be reached at (919) 966-6887; Linnan, at (919) 843-8044 or linnan@email.unc.edu; Jones, at (336) 226-6040; and Poole, at (336) 437-1300.

2:30 p.m., Participants depart from Burlington for arrival in Chapel Hill at about 3 p.m.

Interviews: Participants and organizers are expected to be available for print and broadcast interviews.

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Note: Dr. Lynn Blanchard, director of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Center for Public Service, is bus tour host and may be reached on the road at (919) 280-9434. Linda Douglas, director of community relations, is bus tour coordinator and may be reached at (919) 218-6947.

News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or deborah_saine@unc.edu