Another “ALERT” Operation Nets 27 Alcohol/Drug Arrests

Chapel Hill Police continued to push its message of zero tolerance over the weekend, handing out 27 citations for drug- and alcohol-related incidents.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s joint ALERT (Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team) program uses officers from Chapel Hill along with Carrboro Police, and UNC’s Department of Public Safety.

Twenty-five citations were given between Saturday and Sunday for charges of open containers in public, underage possession, underage consumption, and public urination. The arrests were made throughout the greater Downtown Chapel Hill area from Longview Street on the north side to McCauley Street on the south side.

Friday: Eleven UNC Students Cited For Alcohol Violations

In the same time frame, two people were cited with misdemeanor drug possession charges as well.

Last week, Chapel Hill Police Public Information Lieutenant Josh Mecimore said the ALERT team is out early in the semester to make sure the expectations are clear. He said it’s about keeping students and other community members as safe as possible.

And remember, the Chapel Hill Police Department doesn’t announce when operations like ALERT or DUI traffic stops will take place, but it is often active on Twitter letting people know where regular speed traps will take place. You can follow it: @ChapelHillPD, and be sure to follow @WCHLChapelboro. We’ll share CHPD’s tweets with you as well.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/another-alert-operation-nets-25-alcoholdrug-arrests/

Former UNC President’s House Unearthed

Professors and students in the Archeology Department at UNC didn’t have to travel far for a dig dating back to the early 1800s.

***Listen to the Story***

UNC System President Tom Ross is getting a new driveway at the President’s home on the corner of Franklin and Raleigh streets. While digging up the old driveway, construction workers started noticing large stones being unearthed and called in someone who knew a little more about it.

“We knew that there was a site here, but what was unexpected here was having it kind of turn up as this driveway was being resurfaced,” says Vin Steponaitis, the Director of the Research Laboratories of Archaeology, Chair of the Curriculum in Archaeology, and an Anthropology Professor at UNC. “We’d actually been given a heads up that there was going to be some work done here, but we didn’t know quite how deep it was going to go. So, in the place where they went deeper is where we encountered the site.”

The remnants of the structure that were uncovered were of the foundation of the Second President’s House. The first President of the University, Reverand Joseph Caldwell—who served as Presiding Professor from 1799-1804 and University President from 1804-1812—lived in the house, even though it was called the Second President’s House.

Research Archaeologist in the Research Laboratories of Archaeology at UNC, Brett Riggs led the dig Friday uncovering the former structure.

“He initially lived in the president’s house that was on campus—about where Swain Hall is now,” Rigges says. “Caldwell, beginning in 1811, began constructing this house out here. This was, at that point in time, the furthest house to the east on Franklin Street; beyond her was simply woods. Up until the 1880s, there were only two houses on this side of Franklin Street.”

A fire destroyed the house on Christmas Eve 1886 after it rapidly spread from an adjacent outhouse. The portions of the house that were above ground likely fell into the basement, which was used, at that time, as a dining room.

Riggs says, to level the ground in order to build a new structure, some of the fill was likely burned remnants left over from the fire.

“We’ll be able to document what the walls of the basement were like, what the floor of the basement was like, and a lot of the contents of the house when it burned, which all collapsed into the basement when the thing burned,” Riggs says. “We anticipate that there are actually fireplaces that were on the lowest level that are buried under this fill, so we hope to see an intact fireplace on one end as well.”

Once a majority of the stones from the foundation were uncovered, a cherry picker was brought in to take an aerial photo of the plot. Steponaitis says the next step was potentially the most exciting.

“We hope that we’ll be able to just get a little bit more time to investigate what’s actually in this basement, because we know, of course, from historical accounts, that all sorts of interesting people were entertained down there,” Steponaitis says. “President Caldwell used it as a dining area to entertain distinguished guests.”

Two of those guests included U.S. presidents James K. Polk and James Buchanan.

Significant Events at the Second President’s House (page 23)

Steponaitis says, if there are artifacts left over and preserved from the fire, a new page in the history books could be written.

“We know a lot of Chapel Hill’s history from written documents, but there’s a lot we don’t know,” Steponitis says. “Those things that we don’t see in the written documents, often you can piece together some very interesting things about the history of a place by looking at the stuff of everyday life that was left behind in the buildings that people used when they lived her back then.”

Striking Archaeological Pay Dirt At The UNC President’s House

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/former-unc-presidents-house-unearthed/

Eleven UNC Students Cited For Alcohol Violations

The Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team – or, “ALERT,” for short — issued 11 citations to UNC students for alcohol violations early Friday morning.

Charges include underage possession, open container, and consumption of an alcoholic beverage by a person less than 21 years of age.

Lt. Josh Mecimore, a public information officer for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said the citations were issued as part of a regular joint effort between the CHPD, UNC Police and Carrboro Police.

“Throughout the year, that team goes out, typically on dates that we know we have higher incidents of underage drinking.”

He said those include the first week of school; big sporting events; and graduation weekends for both high school and college.

Mecimore said the citations are meant to send a clear message to students, with a serious underlying reason.

“We don’t tolerate underage drinking,” said Mecimore. “And I’ve said in the past that that’s partly because it’s against the law. But an even bigger part is that we historically see all these issues that arise from over-consumption of alcohol, or irresponsible use of alcohol.

“And that’s things ranging from being more likely to be victimized by other people.”

Mecimore added that overconsumption of alcohol can lead to losing one’s ability to pay attention to other people and surroundings. Such inattention can result in crimes such as robbery and sexual assault.

Underage drinking also contributes to an increased number of patients in emergency rooms for alcohol poisoning, and alcohol-related injuries, said Mecimore.

His advice for students of legal drinking age is to stay indoors or on private property while consuming alcohol.

And if you’re underage, just don’t drink.

“We take enforcement actions in those situations,” said Mecimore. “And all of these people will have a court date, where they’ll have to appear in court. It could have some implications in Honor Court as well for folks who are students of UNC, which could affect their academic status.”

Mecimore said he doesn’t know which consequence would be worse for a UNC student, but either way, it’s always better to be responsible.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/eleven-unc-students-cited-alcohol-violations/

UNC Police Investigating Ehringhaus Dorm Burglaries

Campus police are investigating two burglaries occurring during the early morning of Wednesday in UNC’s Ehringhaus Residence Hall. Victims on two different floors within the dormitory reported that someone entered their rooms while they were asleep and took cash from their wallets.  No suspect descriptions were currently available.

Anyone with information which might aid in the investigation should call 9-1-1 or call CrimeStoppers at 919-942-7515.  Calls to CrimeStoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest.  You can also leave tips for CrimeStoppers at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.

It could take hours for police to resolve a situation depending upon the circumstances. In the meantime, if you are directed by police or University personnel to take specific action (evacuate a building, stay out of a certain part of campus, go to your residence hall and stay there), please comply immediately. For a list of safety tips, visit:

http://www.alertcarolina.unc.edu/go/doc/1395/1762999/

If you see suspicious activity, call 911. But do not call 911 or the Department of Public Safety merely to ask for information about the current incident. Police phone lines need to be kept open for emergency communications. Anyone with information about this incident should call the Department of Public Safety 919-962-8100.

In the event of campus emergencies, students and employees can let their families know they are okay in the event of an emergency while keeping cell phone lines open for emergency calls by using the American Red Cross Safe and Well list. The Safe and Well list is especially helpful in communicating with family members who are outside the emergency area: www.redcross.org/safeandwell.

Students who are in need of medical attention should go to Campus Health Services campushealth.unc.edu) or the UNC Hospitals Emergency Room. Faculty and staff in need of medical attention should go to the UNC Hospitals Emergency Room.

A range of support services for students is available through the Office of the Dean of Students, deanofstudents.unc.edu/.

Counseling Services for students are available at UNC Counseling and Psychological Services, campushealth.unc.edu/caps. For a concern about a coworker, call Employee and Management Relations in Human Resources (hr.unc.edu/employee-management-relations/) or 919-843-3444, or the University’s Employee Assistance Program (services provided by ComPsych 24 hours a day), 877-314-5841.

Questions about sexual assault can be directed to Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Student Complaint Coordinator, Ew Quimbaya-Winship, 919-843-3878.

For community services, call UNC Department of Public Safety Crime Prevention Officer Sgt. Megan Howard, at 919-966-3230.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/unc-police-investigating-ehringhaus-dorm-burglaries/

Overnight Parking Fees At UNC On Hold

Overnight parking fees at UNC have been put on hold.

The University’s new Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Matt Fajack sent out an email to faculty and staff last week stating the plan, which was scheduled to take effect August 15, needed more time to work out any potential issues.

That plan called for overnight parking passes as a necessity to park on campus and therefore an associated fee. Many people were outspoken about the change. Some people called safety into question as it could cause the need for people to walk longer distances in the dark if they didn’t have a pass.

Because of the outpouring of concern, Fajack, in his email, said further study was needed to make sure the proper questions about alternative transportation, equity, and safety have all been asked.

Anyone who has paid for the parking pass will be refunded the money. University employees were given the option to have the fees automatically deducted from their paycheck; those automatic deductions will be cancelled.

The parking fees were part of a five-year transportation plan the UNC Board of Trustees implemented in 2011. Fajack said he hopes everyone will participate in future discussions about the plan that will soon become available.

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/overnight-parking-fees-unc-hold/

DTH Editor-In-Chief Looks Ahead In 2014-15

The Daily Tar Heel’s new Editor-in-Chief, Jenny Surane, took over officially on Saturday, and as classes began at UNC, she stopped by the WCHL Studios to share what she sees is in store for the University community in 2014-15.

***Listen to the Interview***

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/dth-editor-chief-looks-ahead-2014-15/

Daily Tar Heel Editor-In-Chief Live At WCHL Tuesday

The Editor-in-Chief of UNC’s student-produced daily newspaper will finish her undergraduate career just where she started: behind the desk of the paper that is highly-regarded throughout the community.

Jenny Surane ran unopposed for the position of editor-in-chief at the Daily Tar Heel and takes over as a new school year begins. According to the DTH, Surane started with the campus newspaper in her freshman year.

The DTH has been at the forefront of nearly every major story dealing with, not only the University, but also the entire Chapel Hill-Carrboro community.

On Tuesday, Surane joins Ron Stutts and Ran Northam at 7:30 a.m. live in the WCHL Studios to discuss what her vision is for the paper in the upcoming year.

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/daily-tar-heel-editor-chief-live-wchl-tuesday/

UNC Police Investigating Indecent Exposure On Campus

Campus police are investigating a reported indecent exposure incident occurring at the bus stop on Manning Drive shortly before 12:00 noon Saturday. A black male in his late 20’s-to-early 30’s approached the female reporting party at the bus stop and exposed himself. The reporting person left the scene without further incident. The suspect was described as being bald or having short-cropped hair and possibly having short facial hair. He was approximately 5’6’” tall, 160 pounds, wearing a white t-shirt with blue jeans.

Anyone with information which might aid in the investigation should call 9-1-1 or call CrimeStoppers at 919-942-7515. Calls to CrimeStoppers are confidential and anonymous, and the caller may be eligible for a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest. You can also leave tips for CrimeStoppers at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.

It could take hours for police to resolve a situation depending upon the circumstances. In the meantime, if you are directed by police or University personnel to take specific action (evacuate a building, stay out of a certain part of campus, go to your residence hall and stay there), please comply immediately. For a list of safety tips, visit:

http://www.alertcarolina.unc.edu/go/doc/1395/1762999/

If you see suspicious activity, call 911. But do not call 911 or the Department of Public Safety merely to ask for information about the current incident. Police phone lines need to be kept open for emergency communications. Anyone with information about this incident should call the Department of Public Safety 919-962-8100.

In the event of campus emergencies, students and employees can let their families know they are okay in the event of an emergency while keeping cell phone lines open for emergency calls by using the American Red Cross Safe and Well list. The Safe and Well list is especially helpful in communicating with family members who are outside the emergency area: www.redcross.org/safeandwell.

Students who are in need of medical attention should go to Campus Health Services campushealth.unc.edu) or the UNC Hospitals Emergency Room. Faculty and staff in need of medical attention should go to the UNC Hospitals Emergency Room.

A range of support services for students is available through the Office of the Dean of Students, deanofstudents.unc.edu/.

Counseling Services for students are available at UNC Counseling and Psychological Services, campushealth.unc.edu/caps. For a concern about a coworker, call Employee and Management Relations in Human Resources (hr.unc.edu/employee-management-relations/) or 919-843-3444, or the University’s Employee Assistance Program (services provided by ComPsych 24 hours a day), 877-314-5841.

Questions about sexual assault can be directed to Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Student Complaint Coordinator, Ew Quimbaya-Winship, 919-843-3878.

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/unc-police-investigating-indecent-exposure-campus/

J-School To Change Name; “Family-to-Family Education Program”; CFD’s New Engine

News from UNC, as school gets set to resume: pending approval by the administration, UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication will change its name to the “School of Media and Journalism,” effective next year.

No word yet if we’ll have to stop calling it the “J-School” and start calling it the “M-School.”


Do you have a close family member who’s struggling with mental illness?

Beginning Thursday, September 4, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is offering a free 12-week “Family-to-Family Education Program” to provide information for family members of people living with mental illness, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and OCD.

Classes run on Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Seymour Senior Center, for 12 weeks beginning September 4. For more information or to register, contact Dana Greenwood at 919-622-3795.


The Town of Carrboro has a new fire engine! And they’re holding a ceremony to celebrate on Wednesday, September 3, at 5:30 p.m. at Fire Station 1 on West Main Street.

Fire Chief Travis Crabtree and Mayor Lydia Lavelle will be on hand to deliver remarks – and it’s a tradition for members of the public to help Carrboro firefighters push the truck into the bay for the first time.

Fire Station 1 is located at 301 West Main Street in Carrboro, near Town Hall and the Town Commons. Everyone’s welcome to attend.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/j-school-change-name-family-family-education-program-cfds-new-engine/

UNC Professor Remembers Robin Williams

Story originally posted 1:50 p.m., August 12, 2014

A retired professor of computer science at UNC, Stephen Weiss, got the chance of a lifetime in 1998, to sit and watch the magic of Robin Williams film Patch Adams.

Gerrard Hall (Photo by Matthew Koester)

Gerrard Hall (Photo by Matthew Koester)

“I sat in Gerrard Hall for six days—about 12- or 14-hour days—to shoot that one, ten minute scene toward the end of the movie,” Weiss says.

Gerrard Hall is the building to the left of the Old Well as you look at it from the steps of South Building. Weiss says he was selected after a casting call asked for professor-types and was seated behind the actor, Bob Gunton, who played Dean Walcott.

In that scene, Adams is on trial for practicing medicine without a license, and it is when Williams delivered this memorable line.

“Now you asked me if I’ve been practicing medicine,” Williams said. “Well if this means opening your door to those in need, those in pain, caring for them, listening to them, applying a cold cloth until a fever breaks, if this is practicing medicine, if this is treating a patient, then I am guilty as charged, sir.”

Weiss says he met Williams: shook his hand, had a short conversation with him about the University. He says he was amazed at the professionalism he brought to the set without losing any of his playfulness.

“He would often to standup,” Weiss says. “He would ask people for a subject, and he would have us just absolutely convulsed in laughter. Then the director, Tom Shadyac would say, ‘okay, we’re ready to shoot’, and Robin Williams would immediately drop into character, and the rest of us were still trying to stifle our laughter.”

Even removing himself from having been involved in the movie, Weiss says he couldn’t believe the news of Williams’ death.

Two talented actors lost their lives in 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman (L), Robin Williams (R) Photo from "Patch Adams" posted on LifeDaily.com

Two talented actors lost their lives in 2014, Philip Seymour Hoffman (L), Robin Williams (R) Photo from “Patch Adams” posted on LifeDaily.com

“It was really a shock,” Weiss says. “I heard about it, actually, at dinner. It was really a shock that somebody so young and so talented… What’s kind of ironic is that Philip Seymour Hoffman was also in that movie. So, we’ve lost two great talents that were in that same movie.”

Hoffman died of acute mixed drug intoxication February 2 in his New York Apartment.

Weiss says Williams’ true character really showed while he was on UNC’s campus.

“I wasn’t there, but apparently in the evening, Robin Williams would come back and play cards with people in the Y building, which was right next to Gerrard Hall,” Weiss says. “So he was just very down to earth.”

Williams died Monday at the age of 63. Preliminary reports were released Tuesday afternoon stating he was believed to have died by asphyxiation due to hanging. He was found with his belt around his neck and the other end wedged between the closet door and the door jam.

http://chapelboro.com/news/national/unc-professor-remembers-robin-williams/