Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The Daily Tar Heel
PTA Thrift Shop receives 2donations for redevelopment
The PTA Thrift Shop received$20,000 in donations last week tohelp support the redevelopment of its Carrboro store.The shop’s redevelopment cam-paign has now brought in $357,516— almost half of which has comein the last two weeks.The Carol Woods RetirementCharitable Fund donated $15,000to the thrift shop to sponsor the staff conference room.Steve Ginn, a long-time residentand owner of Ginn & Company, alsodonated $5,000 to the redevelop-ment fund.The PTA Thrift Shop, whichuses profits to support Chapel Hill-Carrboro PTAs, operates two storesin Carrboro and Chapel Hill.The Carrboro store will relocateto a temporary location on Sept. 4 while its new retail and lease spaceis constructed.The new location will be com-pleted in fall 2013 and is expectedto generate a 20 percent increase inannual allocations to schools.
From staff and wire reports
By Brian Fanney
A Person County resident whohad been charged in peeping inci-dents in Chapel Hill for more than10 years was found dead in anapparent suicide last month.Police discovered 60-year-oldJohn Thomas Whitt, Jr. in his homenear Roxboro on July 25 — a monthafter he was arrested for peepingand assault on a government officialat Mill Creek Apartments off MartinLuther King, Jr.Blvd. in ChapelHill.“We were con-tacted by a family member to do a welfare check,and that’s how we found him,”said Capt. A. J. Weaver of thePerson County Sheriff’s Office.“They were wor-ried about him.”He was foundin his garage, sitting behind a car.The key was in the “on” position, Weaver said. Weaver said a medical examiner was investigating and would makethe final determination if the inci-dent was a suicide. Whitt was charged in multiplepeeping incidents at UNC, as wellas Duke and N.C. State universitiesduring the last decade. After he was charged with nearly 90 counts of peeping in 2001, theNorth Carolina legislature strength-ened its state peeping law, changingpeeping from a misdemeanor toa felony, said Sgt. Josh Mecimore,spokesman for the Chapel HillPolice Department.On one occasion, he was caughton the Kappa Delta sorority houseroof in Chapel Hill with a videocamera, Mecimore said. After policesearched his home and business,they discovered more video tapes.He was sentenced to eight monthsin jail.“Those arrests and convictions areactually what led to the law beingstrengthened,” Mecimore said.“It was a direct result of that inci-dent.” Whitt was also charged with fel-ony peeping last Halloween after heused a camera to look up women’sskirts on Franklin Street.“There are more potential vic-tims,” Mecimore said. “There’s typi-cally a series of related incidents.”He said it’s important for studentsto protect themselves by closing blinds and locking doors and win-dows.For students who live off campus,Mecimore said motion sensor lightscan be helpful in deterring peepersand other criminals.But he said the best tool was com-municating with police and speak-ing with other residents.“Get to know your neighbors,”Mecimore said.“If you know your neighbors,they’re more likely to talk aboutseeing someone suspicious. That’sharder in college towns.”Randy Young, spokesman forthe UNC Department of PublicSafety, said peeping isn’t commonon campus, but it does occur occa-sionally.Nine peeping incidents werereported in Teague Residence Hall,Murphey Hall, the UndergraduateLibrary and Jackson Circle from2005 to 2009, according to a searchfor peeping on the Department of Public Safety’s website. Young said none of those inci-dents were related to Whitt, thoughcampus police had ordered him tostay off campus to protect studentsinvolved in off-campus incidents.If there were a repeat offender who had not been caught on cam-pus, police would use Alert Carolina to notify students, Young said.“Hopefully that would illicit fur-ther information coming in,” Youngsaid. “We have said in the past, if there is a suspicious individual,do not approach them. Contact usdirectly.” Young said peeping incidents oncampus have involved both studentsand people from the outside com-munity.“It comes down to our slogan, if you see something say something,” Young said. “It’s certainly a concernon any open campus environment.”
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Whitt was charged withpeeping at UNC, Duke andN.C. State before his death.
John ThomasWhitt, Jr.
, wowas carge in localpeeping instances,was foun ea inan apparent suicie.
Ristritig ps v rr
By Katie Reilly
Assistant City Editor
More than 1,000 localelementary school students willgo back to school in a differentdistrict next year.Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools students are facing thepossibility of switching schools asthe district begins a widespreadredistricting process to eliminateovercrowding and move studentsto Elementary 11 — the system’snewest elementary school,expected to open in August 2013.Carrboro High School, which was 84 students over capacity inthe 2011-12 school year, is also like-ly to undergo spot redistricting.“All of our elementary schoolsare at capacity and some areseverely over capacity,” said Assistant Superintendent ToddLoFrese.“When we complete theredistricting and (Elementary)11 opens, it will provide us withneeded relief to be able to haveour schools at reasonable sizes,”he said.LoFrese is a member of theredistricting team, which aimsto keep schools balanced by socioeconomic status and studentachievement levels. The team willalso take school distance and busroutes into consideration.In the next month, a Redistricting Advisory Council will be created to make recommenda-tions on redistricting plans.The council’s recommendation will be passed on to the Board of Education, which will make a finaldecision on the plan in January.Some parents are already concerned about the effectredistricting will have on theirchildren.“For me, it’s not academic,”said Michelle Siegling, PTA co-president at Estes HillsElementary School. “It’s more a personal concern about adjustingto a new environment, makingnew friends, just being uprooted,”“It’s hard for the whole family if families have become establishedand an active part of the school. All of a sudden you don’t know theteachers, students, administrators.”Sally Taylor, vice president of the Glenwood Elementary SchoolPTA, said she is most worriedabout staying informed during theredistricting process.It’s a concern that school systemofficials say they are prepared tomeet.Michelle Brownstein, vicechairwoman of the CHCCS Boardof Education, said the board istrying to make the process astransparent as possible.“We’re going to take the input we get from the public, fromadministration and staff and that’s why it is really important forpeople to participate,” she said. After the 2008 redistricting toMorris Grove Elementary School,the school system looked toimprove the process by using moreaccurate attendance numbers.“In the past, they’ve gonethrough this whole processand then they start school andsome schools are still lopsided,”Brownstein said.“Hopefully it‘ll be moreaccurate with the data pointsthat they’re using and that willminimize the number of people we move to maximize the optimaleducation for the kids.”
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Chapel Hill-Carrboro CitySchools plan to redistrictto relieve overcrowding.
SeRenade of welcome
undreds gathered in the Pit on Monday evening at 7 p.m. to watch eight prominent a cappella groups per-form at the Sunset Serenade. The Achordants, Tar Heel Voices, Psalm 100, Walk-ons, Loreleis, Harmonyx,Clef Hangers and Cadence all performed. This event was part of the University’s Week of Welcome.
By Claire Williams
As the N.C. gubernatorial can-didates campaign across the state,education funding has emerged asone of the prominent issues of therace.Republican Pat McCrory, the for-mer Charlotte mayor who narrowly lost to current Gov. Bev Perdue in2008, has focused his campaign onreforms to thestate’s educationsystem, includinga merit-basedpay system anda new type of diploma for highschool students seeking to obtain a job or attend community college.Democrat Walter Dalton, theformer chairman of the N.C. Senateeducation committee and currentlieutenant governor, has more expe-rience in higher education policy.
teRepublican guber-natorial caniate,woul look to stream-line eucation fun-ing. he leas daltonby seven points in arecent poll.
, tedemocratic guberna-torial caniate, asa istory of support-ing eucation fun-ing an financial aian sai e woulcontinue to o so.
euti turs i tst
Unc ss urisig susss
By Emily Overcarsh
Assistant University Editor
In the midst of budget cuts, theUniversity’s fundraising efforts roseto the occasion last year, resultingin the second-largest year for dona-tions in UNC history.The University raised $287.4million in the 2012 fiscal year, com-ing in short of the record $300.9million raised in 2008.Scott Ragland, director of devel-opment communications, saidlast year’s success reflects the way donors view the University.“They see we’re doing wonder-ful work and want to support it,”Ragland said.Matt Kupec, vice chancellor forUniversity advancement, said theUniversity went about fundraising just as it always does — by pitchingUNC’s vision of excellence.“(It was just that) the economy got a little better,” he said.Ragland said alumni gifts makeup the biggest percentage of dona-tions each year.Chancellor Holden Thorp saidhe and other administrators trav-eled this summer to appeal to bigdonors.“We do really well getting gifts between $500,000 and $2 million,”Thorp said.Kupec said this is because thestate pledges to donate $1 for every $2 donated to endowed professor-ships in this range.One summer gift was a $2.7 mil-lion donation to the UNC School of Law from the Kathrine R. EverettCharitable Trust.Kris Jensen, associate dean foradvancement in the law school, saidthe law school typically fundraisesindependently but works with theUniversity during campaigns.“Each unit sets their own goal aspart of the overall University goal,”she said.Jensen said that donations areparticularly important in the wakeof drastic budget cuts.“Donations take what they canoff the plate that would have to betransferred to the students eventu-ally,” she said.The University is currently preparing for another fundraisingcampaign, following the 1999-2007 Carolina First campaign, which brought in $2.38 billion.Kupec said the campaign is stillin the planning process.“We’re going to take this yearand get more details on the plan,”he said.Kupec said officials will presentrecommendations to the Board of Trustees in May, but right now it’stoo soon to make predictions.But he said even in non-cam-paigning years, UNC is typically successful in bringing in donations.“This University, in terms of fundraising, finishes 17th or 18th year in and year out,” he said.
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The University raised$287.4 million in 2012,the second most ever.
He supports maintaining thecurrent amount of need-basedfinancial aid for college students,said Schorr Johnson, his campaignspokesman.Dalton was one of the architectsof the Higher Education Bond,passed by voter referendum in2000, which provided funding forrenovations in the UndergraduateLibrary, among other projectsacross the state, Johnson said.Ricky Diaz, McCrory’s campaignspokesman, said McCrory wouldlook to maximize the state’s finan-cial investment in higher educationand “look at where there could besavings as well.” Although Dalton has more rel-evant education experience, TomCarsey, a UNC political scienceprofessor, said McCrory entered therace with a strong advantage due tohis distance from the state’s conten-tious legislative politics.The latest poll by Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning polling firm based in Raleigh, found McCrory with a seven-point lead.“Some of the difficulty betweenGov. Perdue and Dalton and theRepublican legislature is that thenumber of vetoes and veto over-rides lowers the popularity of thepeople involved,” he said.But Carsey also noted that Daltonis still relatively unknown comparedto Perdue and less subject to set-in-stone political opinions.Mitch Kokai, political analystfor the right-leaning John LockeFoundation, said education funding would likely remain the same underDalton, while McCrory would bemore likely to streamline highereducation funding. And Carsey said if McCrory wins,reforms are more likely to be imple-mented.“If we also have a Republicangovernor, it would be less of anobstacle for leaders in the legisla-ture to do whatever they want witheducation for the next couple of years,” he said.
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