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.


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***


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


UNC To Perform Emergency Drill

On Monday, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., UNC will perform an emergency drill on campus.

In the drill, there will be actors strategically placed throughout campus as victims and other involved individuals to simulate a real emergency. Uniformed responders behave as though it is a genuine emergency. Emergency vehicles and personnel can be found around Manning Drive, particularly close to the intersection with Ridge Road.

Randy Young of the UNC Department of Public Safety previews which roads near UNC campus will be involved in the duration of the drill.

“The roadways on campus that will be impacted by this emergency drill will be a small section of Manning Drive between the lower entrance to Skipper Bowles Drive and the Ridge Road intersection,” says Young.

Young states that most of what the drill will entail is unknown even to the emergency service teams, in order to emulate an actual emergency situation.

“It’s actually not disclosed,” Young says. “We’ve had tabletop sessions that will involve some kind of an alert, but a lot of this is something that is revealed to us as the drill unfolds.”

Other emergency services will be involved, Young says, as they would participate in kind in a real-life emergency scenario.

“Traditionally, other agencies are active participants in this,” says Young, “primarily because of the fact that in anything that rises to this level would impact and necessitate the cooperation and collaboration with other agencies in the area.”

For more on the drill, click here.


UNC System President Praises GA’s Work On Budget

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Friend

Tom Ross

Tom Ross

UNC System President Tom Ross praised the North Carolina General Assembly for it’s attention to higher education with the signing of the 2014-15 budget, signed into law Thursday morning by Governor Pat McCrory. The reception wasn’t as rosy on the Pre-K-through-12 level.

President Ross released a statement shortly after the passage, reading, in part: “There is a lot to appreciate in this budget, including the first new investment by the General Assembly for parts of our strategic directions initiative and the support of the New Teacher Support Program.”

“We continue to focus on our responsibility to produce a well-equipped talent force for our businesses and our communities,” President Ross said. “Highly talented faculty and staff are critical to these efforts. As other states continue to reinvest in higher education, our ability to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff will only get more challenging. We look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly next session to address the issues that will hinder our State’s future competitiveness.”

The New Teacher Support Program’s goal is to cater to each young educators individual needs in order to make sure they are on the path to success.

Despite an average of seven-percent increase to teachers’ salaries in primary education, there are still concerns among educators.

Longevity pay, the bonus once awarded to teachers with more than ten years of experience is no longer guaranteed. Instead, the new plan caps teacher salaries at $50,000 for those with more than 25 years in the classroom and rolls longevity pay into the base salaries.

This has some long-term teachers estimating their raises at closer to 2-4 percent, while starting teachers will receive a seven-percent boost and those with half a decade of experience could see as much as an 18 percent increase.

Rep. Graig Meyer (D, Orange-Durham)

Rep. Graig Meyer (D, Orange-Durham)

Representative Graig Meyer of Orange and Durham counties told WCHL Wednesday, after the announcement of Budget Director Art Pope’s resignation, that he’s also concerned about future budget decisions because there is now an $800,000 to $1 billion deficit that will have to be accounted for during 2015-16 budget talks.


Indictments For 2 Charged In UNC Professor’s Death

HILLSBOROUGH – Two men now face indictments in the death of a professor at UNC.

An Orange County grand jury on Monday indicted 23-year-old Derick Davis II of Durham and 27-year-old Troy Arrington Jr. of Chapel Hill on charges of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The men were arrested after the attack last month. Police said 59-year-old Feng Liu died a day after suffering serious head wounds.

Davis and Arrington have been held at the Orange County jail, and it wasn’t immediately clear if they had attorneys. District Attorney Jim Woodall hasn’t said if the state will seek the death penalty.

Liu was a research professor in UNC’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy. A memorial for him was held Saturday on campus.


UNC Announces Aug. 11 Emergency Drill on Manning Drive

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will conduct an emergency drill on Monday, August 11 that will affect traffic on Manning Drive between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Actors will portray campus community members and victims in order to simulate a response to an actual emergency on campus.

Emergency personnel and vehicles will be visible along Manning Drive, and uniformed responders will react as they would in an actual emergency.

A portion of Manning Drive will be closed for the duration of the drill, and drivers are encouraged to utilize the posted detour route along Bowles Drive.

The FCX, HU, S and U bus routes will all use the Bowles Drive detour.

The bus stops on Manning Drive at Ehringhaus Dorm and Hinton James Dorm will be closed during the drill.

Riders can board detoured buses at the stop on Manning Drive at the Public Safety building.

In a press release, Chapel Hill Transit announced that efforts will be made to maintain the normal schedule, but customers are encouraged to allow for extra travel time and delays.

The drill will also impact schedule projections on the NextBus website.

For more information about the drill, visit alertcarolina.unc.edu.

For more information regarding Chapel Hill Transit that day, you may contact customer service at 919-485-7433.