Additional reporting by Danny Hooley
The UNC Board of Governors plans to review more than 200 centers and institutes in the UNC system, with the possibility of redirecting state funding elsewhere, in some cases.
The Board of Governors recently formed a review committee to check on the 237 centers and institutes, after the state legislature recommended as much as $15 million in reductions to research centers, speaker series, or other non-academic areas.
The committee’s leader, BoG member James Holmes, Jr., told the News and Observer that the group seeks to review and understand the centers, to determine whether they continue to “fit the school’s mission.”
He also told the N&O that most of the centers and institutions won’t see any cuts, adding: “There’s no mandate to get any dollars.”
UNC-Chapel Hill stands to lose the most if cuts are made. Eighty of the 237 centers and institutions across the system are within the flagship university; N.C. State houses 48.
Cuts would likely reduce the federal and other outside sources of funding. Last year, $556 million was collected.
WCHL requested a comment from UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and Provost Jim Dean, but neither was available on Friday.http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/unc-system-reviewing-centers-institutes-functionality/
An incomplete report has surfaced of an alleged assault at the Aloft Hotel around the time a UNC football player alleges he was assaulted resulting in a concussion, but no new details have emerged.
UNC is currently investigating an incident that was first reported by Yahoo! Sports. That story says walk-on redshirt freshman wide receiver Jackson Boyer said a number of his teammates physically assaulted him at the Aloft hotel when the team was staying there during fall camp. Boyer said the incident resulted in a concussion, according to Yahoo! Sports.
The University says the investigation, led by the office of student affairs, is ongoing.
According to the News and Observer, a report was filed with the UNC Department of Public Safety (UNC Police) alleging aggravated assault, but it doesn’t say who called in the report or who was involved. It also says the report was filed on August 8, four days after the incident UNC is investigating is said to have taken place.
The N&O says UNC Police Chief Jeff McCracken acknowledged that the date and time on the incident report were incorrect, and that a corrected report has been field.
The story also says he spoke with Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue about the report. Since the alleged incident took place off campus, CHPD would be the investigating agency. However, CHPD Public Information Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says no action was taken because of the limited information in the report.
“Without information related to a victim coming forward and asking for a report or something like that—we don’t have any incident report; we don’t have an investigation—so there’s not really anything for us to do,” Lt. Mecimore says.
He says no one has filed a reported pertaining to the alleged incident at the Aloft Hotel.
Four football players were suspended from the Liberty game for violating team rules. Those players were Des Lawrence, M.J. Stewart, Brian Walker, and Donnie Miles. Head coach Larry Fedora said the decision of a one-game suspension was final and he didn’t foresee further suspensions for those players on the field. He said he also didn’t expect any other players to be added to the list.
Coach Fedora wouldn’t say more about what the players did that got them suspended other than violating team policy.
Search warrants unsealed by the Durham County District Attorney’s office Friday morning reveal multiple people of interest in the murder investigation of Faith Hedgepeth nearly two years ago. Chapel Hill Police have yet to say if any have been ruled out as suspects.
The most notable connection with the victim is Eriq Takoy Jones, who lived in the same apartment complex as Hedgepeth, a few buildings away from where she was found murdered. Jones apparently had a previous relationship with Hedgepeth’s roommate, Karena Lynn Rosario.
According to a warrant, Jones told Rosario earlier that summer that he hated Hedgepeth and would kill her if Rosario didn’t get back together with him. Police were told that Jones resented Hedgepeth because he considered her a barrier to his relationship with Rosario.
Police say Rosario placed a restraining order against Jones two months before Hedgepeth was murdered, after he allegedly kicked two doors off their frame in Rosario’s apartment.
Jones gave investigators permission to search his cell phone. They found a text message Jones sent to a friend the day before the murder asking the friend to forgive him for what he was about to do. Jones also sent a tweet to someone else asking for forgiveness. Police said the cover photo on Jones’ Facebook page was changed to include, “Dear Lord. Forgive me for all of my sins and the sins I may commit today. Protect me from the girls who don’t deserve me and the ones who wish me dead today.”
Jacob Beatley of 103 West Longview Street in Chapel Hill was also questioned six months after the murder took place. A warrant shows that a cell tower search conducted early in the investigation connected an incident report to Beatley’s phone number.
Investigators said when they contacted Beatley they found that he lived with the person who Rosario was with during the time of the murder. Police said he also went to the nightclub The Thrill that night, but couldn’t recall when he left. The warrants say Beatley was asked to submit a DNA sample, but he did not do so voluntarily.
Another person of interest included Reginald Leonard Jackson, II who was living in Greensboro in November 2012 when investigators attempted to contact him.
A Chapel Hill Police officer said he attempted to get in touch with him by phone multiple times before traveling to his last known address in Greensboro. The CHPD officer said he caught up with Jackson with the assistance of local police. He said Jackson was in his car and pulling out of the parking lot of his apartment complex. The warrant says Jackson told the officers he “knew of (Hedgepeth)” but that he doesn’t talk to police like that.
In Thursday’s release, Police Chief Chris Blue said investigators collected hundreds of DNA samples, but did not name any suspects. Chapel Hill Police did report that at least one person refused to have a DNA sample submitted.
Investigators continue to ask that if you have any information regarding the case to call 919-614-6363. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/persons-interest-listed-hedgepeth-murder-investigation-documents/
Some information in this story may be considered graphic
***Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue Addresses the Media***
• At approximately 11:00am on September 7, 2012, officers with the Chapel Hill Police Department received a call to the Hawthorne at the View apartment complex located at 5639 Old Chapel Hill Road in reference to a possible dead body located in apartment 1502.
• When officers arrived, they were greeted by the primary tenant of apartment 1502, Karena Rosario, who advised that she had found the victim, Faith Hedgepeth, inside and that she was unresponsive.
• Officers located Faith Hedgepeth dead in a bedroom inside. Faith’s body was found on the floor leaning against the bed with her shirt pulled up; she had no clothes on from the waist down.
• There was pooled blood near her body and blood spatter on the wall and bedroom closet door. A note written on a take-out fast-food bag was also located on the bed.
• An autopsy determined that Faith’s death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head resulting from a beating.
• A sexual assault kit was collected, which revealed the presence of semen. It was determined that the DNA profile generated from this semen matched other DNA evidence which was also recovered from the crime scene. Investigators believe that this DNA belongs to the person responsible for Faith Hedgepeth’s murder.
• Investigators determined that, prior to her death, Faith Hedgepeth and Karena Rosario visited Davis Library on the UNC campus at approximately 7:30 pm and arrived home shortly after midnight. At a little before 1AM on Sept 7th, they arrived at the Wallace Parking Deck on East Rosemary Street and walked to The Thrill bar. Hedgepeth and Rosario left the bar together at 2:38 am and drove home in Faith’s car, a white Nissan Altima. Investigators believe the pair returned home and that Rosario left the apartment at 4:27 am. Rosario returned home with a friend at approx. 11 am that morning, at which time she discovered Hedgepeth’s body.
The Chapel Hill Police Department says it has surveillance from The Thrill.
• Investigators of the Chapel Hill Police Department and agents of the NC SBI, have collected hundreds of items of evidence; interviewed friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, classmates, etc. and consulted with experts in various scientific fields of study.
• Investigators have executed numerous search warrants and court orders for computers, cellular phones, social media accounts, financial records, etc. Investigators have asked persons of interest to provide oral DNA swabs so that their DNA could be compared to the DNA profile of the offender. Hundreds of DNA samples have been collected and analyzed during the course of this investigation. None of the samples have been found to match the DNA profile of the offender.
• Investigators have excellent evidence in this case and we are making a public appeal for any information that will help us tie that evidence to Faith’s killer.
• This is not a cold case. It has been and remains an active investigation.
• Reward money has been pledged from a number of sources and there is over $40,000 in reward money available in this case.
If anyone has information that they wish to provide, please contact investigators at 919-614-6363. If you call this number, you will speak directly to one of the Investigators who are assigned to this case and are familiar with it. This number will be staffed 24 hours a day. You can also submit a time online at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org.http://chapelboro.com/uncategorized/latest-faith-hedgepeth-murder-investigation-details/
Some information in this story may be considered graphic
Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue released new information Thursday that he says he hopes will help lead to the capture of the suspected killer in the murder of a UNC sophomore.
“Since September 7, 2012, a killer has been on the loose and has not been held accountable for Faith’s death,” Chief Blue said. “We believe that someone knows who did this and will be compelled to come forward.”
“If Faith’s killer is out there hearing this message, you should know that we will catch you,” Chief Blue said.
Sunday marks two years since a roommate of 19-year-old Faith Danielle Hedgepeth found her dead in their off-campus apartment.
However, Chief Blue says this has not, at any time, become a cold case.
“We’ve conducted an extensive investigation, and we have excellent evidence,” Chief Blue says. “This is a very strong case. What we need to do is connect that case to Faith’s killer.”
In the attempts of making that connection, Chapel Hill Police released never-before-told details about the investigation, which has—at times during the case—gone outside of North Carolina.
Part of that release includes the confirmation of what Hedgepeth’s parents earlier told the media, that they suspected she was beaten to death. She was found badly beaten and partially undressed, according to the release.
On January 8 of this year, Chapel Hill Police announced the DNA of a male suspect was found at the scene.
“Investigators have asked persons of interest to provide oral DNA swabs so that their DNA can be compared to the DNA collected at the scene,” Chief Blue says. “Hundreds of DNA samples have been collected and analyzed at this point. None of them have been found to match the DNA profile of Faith’s killer.”
Police say DNA samples were submitted in various forms, including oral swabs. At least one person has declined to submit a DNA sample.
Investigators also released a photo of a hand-written note that was found at the scene, which was believed to have been written by the killer.
The murder took place at the Hawthorne at the View apartment complex, which is located in the Durham County portion of Chapel Hill. The Durham District Attorney’s Office will prosecute a suspect, should any arrests be made, though the Chapel Hill Police Department is the investigating agency.
If anyone has information that they wish to provide, please contact investigators at 919-614-6363. If you call this number, you will speak directly to one of the Investigators who are assigned to this case and are familiar with it. This number will be staffed 24 hours a day. You can also submit online at www.crimestoppers-chcunc.org. You can reach Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.
UNC spokesperson Karen Moon released the following statement regarding the release of information:
“Chapel Hill Police contacted the University in connection with their investigation into Faith Hedgepeth’s death. Because this is a Chapel Hill Police Department investigation, we are not in a position to comment on it. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Hedgepeth family as they deal with such a tragic loss. We remain hopeful that the case will be solved as quickly as possible.”
Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt told WCHL he did not want to comment on the information release at this time in order to allow the police department to continue its diligent work without interruption.http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/chpd-releases-new-hedgepeth-murder-investigation-details/
Story updated September 4, 2014, 12:39 p.m.
Some former UNC faculty members want to be more involved with the University, and soon they may have just such an opportunity.
Professor Emeritus Andrew Dobelstein is a member of the Retired Faculty Association, which is hopeful in creating the UNC Academy of Emeriti Scholars.
But first, he says, it’s important to know where everyone stands.
“We said, ‘well we don’t know what…we have absolutely no idea about what retired faculty as a group or as many of the individuals are even thinking about’,” Dobelstein says.
The retired faculty’s most notable recent public expression came in April when 30 former professors signed a letter written in the News and Observer conveying concern that the University has been quiet about the lengthy academic improprieties.
Currently, UNC is awaiting the report on a review Washington, D.C.-based attorney Kenneth Wainstein is conducting. That review is searching for any academic improprieties that reach further than what took place in the African and Afro-American Studies department between 1997 and 2011, when department chair Julius Nyang’oro resigned as the department head. He was forced into an early retirement a year later.
Dobelstein says the relationship between the University and its former faculty has been poor in the past.
“Many retired faculty members have felt that they’ve been just, sort of, sent on their way without even a gold watch,” Dobelstein says. “This has, over the years, left some rather hard feelings with individual retired faculty and the University.”
However, he says efforts have been made to right the ship.
“Ron Strauss was designated to provide some connection between the University and retired faculty members,” Dobelstein says. “Ron has done, really, a very good job at trying to encourage the development of the Retired Faculty Association and its ability to provide services to retired faculty.”
Strauss has many titles, among which is Executive Vice Provost. He was appointed to assist with retired faculty by former chancellor Holden Thorp.
Dobelstein says the Faculty Council at Carolina recently opened up two spots so that retired faculty can be a part of the decision making. Currently, Jonathan Howes is filling one of the retired faculty spots and will serve until 2015. There is not a second retired faculty member listed on the council.
Correction: Dobelstein is the second retired faculty member who sits on the Faculty Council. He is serving until 2017.
A survey was recently conducted of the retired faculty, facilitated by UNC, in order to get a baseline of what the former professors want to have access to at the University. Dobelstein says now that information can be expanded upon this month at a gathering.
“The first part of this meeting would be a kind of report back to the retired faculty what this survey showed in regard to faculty’s relationship with the University,” Dobelstein says. “The second part will be specific discussions about the initiative for the retired faculty where we will actually begin to sign up retired faculty members for participation.”
The meeting is being held at the Friday Center for Continuing Education Tuesday, September 16 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Strauss as well as Faculty Chair Bruce Cairns are scheduled to attend. Dobelstein says its designed as an open meeting in order to give anyone who is interested the chance to express their concerns as well as their visions for moving forward.
7:25 a.m. update: Greenlaw Hall will open on schedule Tuesday, according to AlertCarolina. Pedestrians walking around the area should use caution due to construction sites.
Story originally posted September 2, 2014, 6:13 a.m.
Students, faculty, and staff with business in Greenlaw Hall may have to put that work on hold for at least part of the day today.
AlertCarolina issued a message Sunday just after 6:30 p.m. stating the building had been evacuated due to a water main that had burst near Greenlaw. According to UNC News Services spokesperson, Susan Hudson, there was flooding damage to the building, and crews worked on repairs all day Monday.
Greenlaw Hall is located between Bingham Hall and Lenoir Hall at the southeast end of Polk Place. It’s a six-floor building that houses the, American Studies, Comparative Literature, English & Comparative Literature, and Folklore departments.
It is unknown at this time whether Greenlaw will open for classes Tuesday, according to Hudson. Stay tuned to WCHL (97.9 FM/1360 AM) and Chapelboro.com for updates on the situation. We’ll also share the news on Twitter, @WCHLChapelboro.http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/greenlaw-hall-status-unclear-tuesday/
UNC transcripts will now tell more than just about the student whose grades are being represented.
The News and Observer’s Jane Stancil wrote this weekend of the new design at UNC’s flagship university, which is attempting to combat the issue of grade inflation that has grown since the middle of the 20th century.
The new transcripts show a median grade of classmates, the percentile range, the number of students in the class section, and a new measure, the schedule point average (SPA). This form of measurement shows just how rigorous the course load is that the student took.
Carolina’s new transcript is supposed to allow graduate schools and employers be able to better choose the great from the good.
Grade inflation has been a national issue, and a study in the Teachers College Record in 2012 found the most prevalent areas were in elite private universities followed by the flagship campuses.http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/unc-shows-detail-transcripts/
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.
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/