UNC Board of Governors Approves Pay Raises for Chancellors

Several chancellors in the UNC System are getting pay bumps from the UNC Board of Governors.

The increases go beyond the 1.5 percent raise given to all state employees as part of the North Carolina budget passed by the General Assembly.

The adjustments include a 3.14 percent jump for UNC – Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt, above the 1.5 percent state-mandated increase. That brings Folt’s annual salary to $596,448. North Carolina State Chancellor Randy Woodson received an identical 3.14 bump over the 1.5 percent from the state to bring his salary to $617,376.

Chancellors at Appalachian State University, Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC – Charlotte and Western Carolina also received bumps ranging from .81 percent to 14.63 percent for Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois. System President Margaret Spellings said his increase was due to “a pay equity issue that arose from the hiring of the new Chancellor at ECU.”

Spellings said these increases were an attempt to bring all of the chancellors across the system into the market range for their positions.

“This board has, for a couple of years now, been working to get competitive market salary ranges for each of the chancellors,” Spellings said after the meeting. “And this was the next step in that journey. And we are nearly there.”

The raises came after the Board of Governors approved pay raises for chancellors in November 2015 – a move that was criticized because of the secrecy that surrounded the increases.

Board chair Lou Bissette said the board “learned a lot of lessons last year.”

“We’ve determined that we didn’t do it correctly last year, but we think we did this year.”

Bissette added the board is moving toward more transparency in general, pointing to the public comment sessions now being held and that the board meetings are now streamed online.

Bissette said the board thought there were benefits from splitting the pay increases up, rather than just allocating the full increases last November.

“Nobody felt like that was a good thing to do in one bite,” Bissette said. “And so we made those increases. And then this pretty much completes that process that was begun two years ago when we had a market survey.”

Even with the increases, the two highest-paid chancellors – Woodson and Folt – are still below the market rate for their positions, according to the system’s figures, but every other chancellor is at least at the floor of the salary range.

“Here forward, we’re going to be looking at performance-oriented increases,” Bissette said. “But we needed to get everybody at least to the bottom part of their ranges.”

Woodson does have an incentive package that allows him to reach the market salary range for his position, but Folt does not. Spellings said the possibility exists that could change.

“There are, obviously, discussions at the [UNC – Chapel Hill] Board of Trustees about vehicles for Chancellor Folt that might be akin to Chancellor Woodson’s.”

As far as the performance metrics that will be used to decide future increases, those are still to be determined. Bissette said it is hard to find one umbrella that will cover all of the system’s institutions.

“The uniqueness of our system and the different campuses, that’s what makes this system great to me,” Bissette said. “But they are all different and unique, and there are not many times you can apply an across-the-board policy.”

http://chapelboro.com/featured/unc-board-of-governors-approves-pay-raises-for-chancellors

Dozens of UNC Students Covering Olympic Games in Rio

UNC is one of only two universities sending journalism students to cover the Olympic Games this summer in Rio, Brazil.

Led by undergraduate Senior Associate Dean Charlie Tuggle, 29 students from UNC’s School of Media and Journalism are off to Rio for three weeks along with students from the University of Memphis.

Twenty-five of the students will be working as media interns in the Rio 2016 Olympic news service, and the other four will be covering Olympic news relevant to North Carolinians.

“A lot of TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, will be using our material about athletes, coaches, fans, whoever we happen to run into with North Carolina ties,” said Tuggle.

UNC was among 10 other universities to send journalism students to cover the Olympic Games back in 2008 in Beijing, China.

Tuggle says that trip inspired the idea to cover the Olympic Games again this time around, which is a great opportunity for his students.

“Not too many people get to go into the venues, behind the curtain if you will, and these young people will be doing that.”

While this is a unique and exciting opportunity for these students, Tuggle says his students know to be realistic and alert.

“I don’t want them to go in with rose colored glasses on because they’re in an international setting that they’re unfamiliar with, there are issues in Brazil and we need to be aware of what those issues are and be careful,” said Tuggle.

“I think as long as we stay in groups, and we’re just being mindful of what’s going on around us, we can really soak in the aura, if you will, of the Olympic Games.”

Tuggle says the UNC School of Media and Journalism has a good reputation and that people understand that students coming with the school’s “stamp of approval” are known for their quality.

“We did really very carefully vet this group. And I feel very good about how they are going to represent our school of Media and Journalism, UNC, the State of North Carolina and the United States.”

Rio 2016 Olympic Games will run from August 5 until August 21. The students will be in Rio a week prior to the games and will stay until the end of the games.

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/dozens-of-unc-students-covering-olympic-games-in-rio

Final Suspect Arrested, Others Appear in Court for Killing Chapel Hill Teenager

Chapel Hill Police have arrested the fifth suspect in connection with the fatal shooting of a teenager on Tuesday night.

Laquida Shuntae Poston. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Laquida Shuntae Poston. Photo via Blake Hodge.

The release announcing the arrest of 23-year-old Denzel Lamont Spikes, of Shelby, came after the other four suspects charged in the case made their first appearance in a Hillsborough courtroom on Thursday afternoon.

Those four suspects who were already in custody are 26-year-old Laquida Shuntae Poston from Shelby; 22-year-old Renaire Lewis II from Shelby; 30-year-old Thomas Oliver from Gastonia and 18-year-old Jalen Raekwon Hackney from Burlington. They have been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and accessory after the fact.

Thomas Oliver. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Thomas Oliver. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Orange County Assistant District Attorney Lamar Proctor said in court that the four were facing the accessory after the fact charge for driving Spikes to a Greensboro hospital so that he could receive treatment for a gunshot wound sustained during the shooting. Officials have not said how Spikes sustained that gunshot wound.

Proctor said the robbery charges stemmed from the suspects taking marijuana from the victims valued at $350 – $700 after the shooting.

Police say officers were called to a shooting off of Legion Road on Jackie Robinson Street near Adelaide Walters Street just before 10 o’clock on Tuesday night. Officers found two victims – both 18 years old – with gunshot wounds at the scene.

Malik Brown was pronounced dead at the hospital, while Tanner Cobb was listed in stable condition as of last update.

Renaire Lewis II. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Renaire Lewis II. Photo via Blake Hodge.

A youcaring page has been established hoping to cover the medical cost for Cobb and funeral expenses for Brown and a vigil is planned to remember Brown on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the four suspects who made first appearances on Thursday are due back in court on August 15. They are all being held without bond.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/final-suspect-arrested-others-appear-in-court-for-killing-chapel-hill-teenager

Vigil Planned as Chapel Hill Remembers Slain Teenager

Members of the Chapel Hill community are continuing to mourn the shooting death of an 18-year-old on Tuesday night.

An outpouring of support has flowed on social media following the death of Malik Brown. Tanner Cobb, also 18 years old, was injured in the shooting.

A school spokesperson confirmed that both victims had been students in the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School System in the past. The Chapel Hill High School Student Government Twitter account also sent a message of condolence saying Brown had been a student at the high school.

A youcaring page has been set up with hopes of raising money to cover the funeral expenses for Brown and medical expenses for Cobb, who was last listed in stable condition by officials.

Chapel Hill town manager Roger Stancil wrote in an e-mail to members of the Town Council and staff that the town’s Collaborative Response and Engagement Workgroup met to discuss an action plan to respond to the shooting.

Stancil added that Brown had been a resident of the Town’s Rainbow Heights community located off of Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard. Cobb was formerly a resident of Colony Woods public housing, according to Stancil.

Stancil added the town’s communications staff would be distributing information to public housing residents in Rainbow Heights and Colony Woods, including contact information for resources available to the residents. Those resources include the Crisis Unit.

A vigil is being planned for 6:30 Thursday night near the scene of the shooting on Jackie Robinson Street, which is off of Legion Road.

Four suspects are in custody and have been charged with several offenses – including first-degree murder – in relation to the shooting. Police are still looking for another suspect.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/vigil-planned-as-chapel-hill-remembers-slain-teenager

17 Tar Heels Competing for Olympic Gold in Rio

With the Summer Olympics Games set to begin next week, 17 athletes with ties to UNC will be making the trip to Rio to compete for their respective countries.

Former Tar Heel student-athletes will compete for the United States, Turkey, India and New Zealand in the games across track and field, field hockey, men’s and women’s basketball and women’s soccer.

UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham issued a statement about having 17 former Carolina players competing in Rio:

“We are proud to have so many students representing North Carolina and their countries at the 2016 Olympics. Our coaches recruit world class students who come to Chapel Hill to compete at the highest level for national championships, conference championships and Olympic medals. We will be watching and cheering them on during the Games.”

Eight of the 17 Tar Heels in Rio will be competing in women’s soccer; seven for Team USA and one for New Zealand.

Five former Carolina stars will represent the US field hockey team.

That leaves two Tar Heels competing for a gold medal in basketball – one on the men’s side and one on the women’s – and two Tar Heels in track and field.

The full list of former UNC players in the Olympics is below, courtesy of GoHeels.com:

  • Harrison Barnes, US men’s basketball
  • Shane Flanagan – US track and field
  • Vikas Gowda – India track and field
  • Crystal Dunn – US women’s soccer
  • Whitney Engen – US women’s soccer
  • Ashlyn Harris – US women’s soccer
  • Tobin Heath – US women’s soccer
  • Meghan Klingenberg – US women’s soccer
  • Allie Long – US women’s soccer
  • Heather O’Reilly – US women’s soccer
  • Katie Bowen – New Zealand women’s soccer
  • Jackie Briggs – US field hockey
  • Rachel Dawson – US field hockey
  • Caitlin Van Sickle – US field hockey
  • Katelyn Falgowski – US field hockey
  • Kelsey Kolojejchick – US field hockey
  • LaToya Pringle Sanders – Turkey women’s basketball
http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/17-tar-heels-competing-for-olympic-gold-in-rio

Chapel Hill Police Charge Man with Second-Degree Rape

Chapel Hill Police have charged a homeless man with second-degree rape of another homeless individual.

Police were called the to wooded area near Chapel Hill North on Tuesday night after someone, who police identified as a homeless individual, called 911 to report that another homeless male was “taking advantage” of a female. When officers arrived, they found a homeless female who was unconscious. It appeared she was suffering from some sort of overdose, according to police.

The suspect was identified as 54-year-old Herman Robinson and he was taken into custody on Tuesday night.

Officials say that the individual who reported the crime said that he approached the suspect during the act and that Robinson fled the scene at that point.

Robinson has a long criminal record mainly consisting of misdemeanor charges including trespassing, larceny and possession of alcoholic beverages on a public street.

Robinson is being held in the Orange County Jail under a $25,000 bond. He made his first appearance on Wednesday afternoon, and Robinson is set to be back in court on Monday.

No update was given as to the victim’s condition.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chapel-hill-police-charge-man-second-degree-rape

Police Looking for Suspect, Four Others Arrested After Teenager Killed in Chapel Hill

UPDATE: The fifth suspect has been arrested.

Five individuals have been charged in the shooting death of an 18-year-old late Tuesday in Chapel Hill.

Four of the five suspects are in custody and have been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and accessory after the fact.

Those four suspects that have been arrested are 26-year-old Laquida Shuntae Poston from Shelby; 22-year-old Renaire Lewis II from Shelby; 30-year-old Thomas Oliver from Gastonia and 18-year-old Jalen Raekwon Hackney from Burlington.

Police say warrants have also been obtained for 23-year-old Denzel Lamont Spikes of Shelby. He is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon.

suspects

Renaire Lewis, Jalen Hackney, Laquida Poston, and Thomas Oliver (Photos via Chapel Hill Police)

Police say officers responded to a shooting off of Legion Road on Jackie Robinson Street near Adelaide Walters Street just before 10 o’clock Tuesday night.

Officers arrived to find the two injured victims who were then transported to UNC Hospitals.

Police identified the victims on Wednesday morning as 18-year-old Malik Devon Brown Burnette, who was pronounced dead at the hospital, and 18-year-old Tanner Cobb, who is being treated at UNC Hospitals and is in stable condition, according to officials.

Police confirmed that both victims were Chapel Hill residents. A spokesperson for Chaple Hill – Carrboro City Schools did not immediately respond to an inquiry regarding where the teens had attended school, if in the system.

Police say the incident was not random and that at least one victim and one suspect were known to each other. Officials said in an e-mail, “we believe this was a drug deal that escalated into a robbery” ending with shots being fired.

If anyone has information about this crime, particularly as to the whereabouts of Spikes, you are asked call either the Chapel Hill Police Department at (919) 968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrest.

Officials say the Chapel Hill Crisis Unit is available to those in need of grief counseling.

 

Final Suspect Arrested, Others Appear in Court for Killing Chapel Hill Teenager

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/police-looking-for-suspect-four-others-arrested-after-teenager-killed-in-chapel-hill

UNC Medical Director Advises Residents on Staying Safe During Heat Wave

This week may be the hottest week of the summer so far with temperatures remaining in the mid-90’s in Chapel Hill and surrounding areas.

Ahbi Mehrotra, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at UNC Hospitals’ Hillsborough campus, has advice on how to stay safe in the extreme heat and avoid dangers like heat exhaustion.

“If you have to be outside, it’s planning ahead, so making sure you have plenty of water to make sure you stay hydrated,” Mehrotra says.

While it’s important to stay hydrated, Mehrotra says to make sure water is the drink of choice when outside in the heat.

“The one thing that people tend to overlook is the importance of the water as hydration and people tend to grab for caffeinated sodas and that can actually make things worse, as well as alcoholic beverages,” Mehrotra said. “They can cause dilation and so you get more heat exposure and so it reverses what you’re actually trying to do.”

Mehrotra also says to try and keep children out of the sun in the peak hours of the day, and to avoid leaving anyone in a turned-off car causing elevation in body temperature.

As for the elderly, Mehrotra says it is best to avoid situations of extreme heat and says having a neighbor check on you periodically is a good idea.

For those who have to work outside, Mehrotra said to always have a partner and to make sure each of you are looking for potential symptoms of heat exhaustion which could lead to a heat stroke.

“For heat exhaustion you’re thinking of headache, dizziness, nausea, those are some of the earlier signs, all the way to heat stroke which you can have seizures, coma, where you can’t tell that you’re at that point,” Mehrotra said. “Your body is starting to shut down, you actually stop perspiring so you’re no longer sweating.”

If someone seems to be experiencing these symptoms, Mehrotra says to first make sure you are safe, and then help the person in need by getting them indoors and hydrated with cool water.

If someone’s symptoms are not improving or they begin to show more signs of heat exhaustion, Mehrotra says to call 911 for professional care.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/unc-medical-director-advises-residents-on-staying-safe-during-heat-wave

Teenager Killed in Chapel Hill Shooting

***UPDATE: Four suspects have been arrested and authorities are looking for one other suspect in connection with the shooting***

An 18-year-old was killed in a shooting late Tuesday in Chapel Hill.

Police say officers responded to a shooting off of Legion Road on Jackie Robinson Street near Adelaide Walters Street just before 10 o’clock Tuesday night.

Officers arrived to find the two injured victims who were then transported to UNC Hospitals.

Police identified the victims on Wednesday morning as 18-year-old Malik Devon Brown Burnette, who was pronounced dead at the hospital, and 18-year-old Tanner Cobb, who is being treated at UNC Hospitals and is in stable condition, according to officials.

Police confirmed that both victims were Chapel Hill residents. A spokesperson for Chaple Hill – Carrboro City Schools did not immediately respond to an inquiry regarding where the teens had attended school, if in the system.

Chapel Hill Police Captain Donnie Rhoads told WCHL on Wednesday that people in the neighborhood saw the shooting.

“There were a couple of witnesses at the scene,” Rhoads said. “Those were the ones that actually called 911. We interviewed them last night and got some good information.”

Rhoads said that four “persons of interest” are being questioned as part of the investigation.

“They’re being interviewed,” Rhoads said. “Nobody’s been charged yet.”

Rhoads said it does not appear this was a random act.

“It appears that at least one of the victims and one of the suspects knew each other,” Rhoads said. “Because they made arrangements to meet up at this location.”

Rhoads added that the investigation was progressing.

“I think we’ve got most of the pieces, we’re just trying to figure them out and put them all together.”

If anyone has information about this crime, please call either the Chapel Hill Police Department at (919) 968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515.  Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrest.

Officials say the Chapel Hill Crisis Unit is available to those in need of grief counseling.

Police Looking for Suspect, Four Others Arrested After Teenager Killed in Chapel Hill

http://chapelboro.com/featured/chapel-hill-police-investigating-double-shooting

Five from UNC Tennis Earn Academic Honor

Five UNC tennis players have recently earned an academic honor from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Four members from the UNC women’s tennis team earned ITA Scholar-Athlete status – junior All-America Hayley Carter, senior Ashley Dai, senior Whitney Kay and freshman Jessie Aney.

It was Carter’s third time receiving the recognition and the first time for her three teammates.

The Tar Heels women’s team also received the ITA All-Academic Team award by recording a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 or better.

Meanwhile, rising sophomore Blaine Boyden was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete from the men’s team.

Both programs had tremendous seasons with Carter spending most of the year as the top-ranked singles player in the country. The women’s team finished the season as the fourth-ranked team in the country, while the men’s side finished the season ranked No. 5.

Being an ITA Scholar-Athlete requires that the student-athlete be a varsity letter winner, have a GPA of at least 3.50 and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/five-from-unc-tennis-earn-academic-honor