UNC Men’s Lacrosse Falls to Syracuse in ACC Tournament

No. 1 seed North Carolina was knocked off in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament semifinal on Friday night.

Fourth-seeded Syracuse led throughout the game, jumping out to a 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

UNC pulled to within 6-4 at the half but could never close the gap further.

Syracuse got a 10-7 victory over UNC and will take on the winner of Duke and Notre Dame on Sunday.


UNC Women’s Lacrosse Beats Duke in ACC Semifinal

A 3-0 scoring run over the final 15 minutes of the game led UNC women’s lacrosse to a 7-6 win over Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on Friday evening.

The top-seeded Tar Heels fell behind early as No. 4 seed Duke opened the game with three consecutive goals in the first four minutes of action. But a two-goal, one-assist performance from Marie McCool led UNC to the comeback victory.

The victory was the 12th in a row for UNC as the Tar Heels advanced to 15-2 on the season.

In addition to McCool, five Tar Heels scored single goals.

The win in the ACC semifinal sends Carolina to the title game for the sixth time in the last seven years and the 10th time overall.

UNC will take on second-seeded Syracuse in the title game at one o’clock Sunday afternoon.


UNC Researchers Find Brain Circuit That Controls Binge Drinking

Researchers at UNC have identified a circuit between two regions of the brain that controls binge drinking of alcohol.

“The puzzle is starting to come together, and is telling us more than we ever knew about before,” said Todd Thiele, who led the study.

The two brain areas, the extended amygdala and the ventral tegmental area, have been implicated in alcohol binge drinking in the past, but this is the first time they have been identified as a functional circuit.

The neutrons that connect the two areas create a substance called the corticotropin releasing factor

“We now know that two brain regions that modulate stress and reward are part of a functional circuit that controls binge drinking and adds to the idea that manipulating the CRF system is an avenue for treating it,” he said.

Thiele and his colleagues showed that when a person drinks, they activate the neurons in the CRF system becoem active in the extended amygdala and act on the ventral tegmental area.

This interaction promotes sustained drinking that becomes a binge.

“It’s very important that we continue to try to identify alternative targets for treating alcohol use disorders,” Thiele said. “If you can stop somebody from binge drinking, you might prevent them from ultimately becoming alcoholics. We know that people who binge drink, especially in their teenage years, are much more likely to become alcoholic-dependent later in life.”


UNC Student Named Mount Vernon Fellow

A second-year UNC student has become the university’s first recipient of the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program.

Andrea Barnes will take part in the leadership development program for rising college juniors over a five-and-a-half week period this summer, according to UNC.

The 19-year-old from Fort Washington, Maryland, is a public policy and sociology double major and Hispanic studies minor and is attending UNC as a Carolina Covenant Scholar.

“Andrea has benefited from great mentors, and in turn, has sought ways to mentor others,” Chancellor Carol Folt said in a release. “We are so proud that the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program recognizes her commitment to public service and education and has selected her as Carolina’s very first recipient of this distinguished fellowship. I know her experiences this summer will translate into new opportunities for many underserved populations.”

The program is a fully-funded, residential-summer program based at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate just outside of Washington, D.C.


Former UNC Assistant Professor Indicted On Child Pornography Charges

Former UNC assistant research professor Kuo Hsiung Yang, 33, has been indicted on federal child pornography charges Tuesday, according to WRAL.

Yang was arrested in November and charged with 10 felony counts of second-degree sexual exploitation with a minor.

He was employed at UNC at the time of his arrest but the school said that he is no longer a member of the faculty, according to WRAL.

The FBI had been investigating Yang for duplicating videos of young girls being sexually assaulted, according to police reports.


Police Increase Patrols After LDOC

The last day of classes – or LDOC, as it’s known around UNC, was on Wednesday. That kicks off an extended weekend of revelry before final exams.

And local authorities are very well aware of the celebrations that are sure to come.

“We want people to act responsibly, drink responsibly – if you’re drinking,” Mecimore said. “We always encourage people to go out as a group and stick together as a group and take care of the people with you.”

Mecimore said that there will be an increased police presence around Chapel Hill to ensure that everyone is following the rules while celebrating the end of the academic year.

“Our Alcohol – Law Enforcement Response Team will be out for the next several days all the way through the end of the weekend doing some extra patrols,” Mecimore said. “That will mean responding to loud noise complaints and monitoring issues that relate to loud noise – frequently, loud noise and alcohol kind of go hand-in-hand.”

Mecimore said those patrols will consist of checks for underage drinking at parties and doing compliance checks at local establishments.

“That means going to bars and making sure that they’re doing what is expected of them,” he said, “going to establishments that sell alcohol for off-premise consumption like grocery stores, convenience stores.”

Mecimore said that alcohol violations are typically higher on a weekend like this, even when compared with other weekends associated with university breaks. He added that safety is the overall goal of the increased law enforcement efforts.

“We want to make sure that everybody has a good weekend, has fun,” Mecimore said. “But we want it to be done safely.”


Diamond Heels Knock Off Campbell

Shortstop Logan Warmoth started off the scoring for the North Carolina Tar Heels on Wednesday night on the way to a victory over Campbell.

Warmoth’s two-run home run was followed by an RBI single from Zack Gahagan for a 3-0 UNC lead after two innings.

Carolina never trailed, eventually extending the lead to 7-0 over the Camels.

Campbell did score three runs in the sixth inning to chase UNC starting pitcher Rodney Hutchison Jr. But Brett Daniels came on in relief to put a stop to the Camels’ offensive threat.

UNC added two insurance runs and Campbell scored once in the top of the ninth for a 9-4 victory.

UNC has been struggling as of late in Atlantic Coast Conference play but has now strung together victories this week over UNC – Wilmington and Campbell. The Tar Heels are off this weekend with a break from conference play and will be back in action next Wednesday hosting Virginia Commonwealth University.


5 From UNC Men’s Lacrosse on All-ACC Team

UNC men’s lacrosse placed five players on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team announced on Wednesday.

The five selections are senior short-stick defensive midfielder Jake Matthai, senior attackman Steve Pontrello, junior close defenseman Austin Pifani, junior face-off man Stephen Kelly and junior midfielder Michael Tagliaferri.

This is the first selection to an All-ACC team for each of the five Tar Heels.

The Tar Heels knocked off No. 1 Notre Dame in Kenan Stadium last weekend to win a share of the ACC regular season title. Carolina is the top seed heading into the ACC Tournament in Kennesaw, Georgia. UNC will face fourth-seeded Syracuse in a semifinal matchup at six o’clock Friday night.


UNC Places 6 on All-ACC Women’s Lacrosse Teams

Six North Carolina Tar Heels have been named to the 2016 All-Atlantic Coast Conference women’s lacrosse teams, the league announced Wednesday.

Of the six Carolina players honored, which was the most among any ACC school, four were named to the first-team – also more than any other school.

Every level of the Tar Heel squad was represented on the first team with two attackers, senior Sammy Jo Tracy and junior Molly Hendrick, sophomore midfielder Marie McCool and senior defender Mallory Frysinger.

Senior attacker Aly Messinger and junior goalie Caylee Waters were named second-team All-Conference.

UNC, ranked third nationally, went undefeated in conference play and will enter the ACC Tournament this weekend in Blacksburg, Virginia as the number one seed. The Tar Heels will face the No. 8 seed Virginia Tech at noon on Thursday in what is essentially a home game for the Hokies.

This is the second consecutive year UNC has won the ACC regular season title.


Rumors of Target to Downtown Chapel Hill Still Just Rumors…For Now

The possibility of a Target coming to downtown Chapel Hill is still just that, a possibility, for now.

“We are very, very hopeful – and I can’t confirm or deny the rumor about the business coming there yet, we’re still hopeful we can announce that soon,” Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said at the WCHL Community Forum on Tuesday. The rumored business would potentially occupy the retail space in the Carolina Square development on Franklin Street.

“Which will add another dynamic to downtown and provide some opportunities for people to walk and get the things they need without having to get in the car or use transit,” Hemminger added.

Hemminger also clarified that if a Target were to be located downtown it would not resemble the Super Target located in Durham. It would instead be a Metro Target, which are incorporated into downtown locations across the country.

“They actually have a pickup window too,” Hemminger said. “You can order online and walk over and pick up whatever you need. But they have grocery options. And it fits into a building like Carolina Square versus being the normal strip mall-kind of look. It’s a very different kind of model.

“I’ve been in a few in Pittsburgh and Minneapolis; they’re well-used and well-liked amenities to a downtown.”

Grocery options for residents downtown and in the surrounding communities, or rather the lack thereof, has been a continued topic of conversation for Chapel Hill leaders.

While the rumors have persisted that Target could occupy the retail space in Carolina Square, it will still be a while before anything at all is located in the new development.

Construction began earlier in 2016 after the groundbreaking in the fall of last year on the site that will be home to one 11-story and two five-story buildings with about 246 apartment units, 159,000 square feet of office space and 42,000 square feet of retail space.

Construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017.