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The Daily Tar Heel

Lucy Bryan


The Daily Tar Heel
News

Health plan would spark change

When Cathy Knight thinks of the state health plan, she thinks of the $427 that gets taken out of her paycheck every month. That adds up to about $5,130 a year — 15 percent of her salary. She thinks of the thick manual she received when she signed up for the only health insurance plan she’s ever had. She tried reading it once but quickly got lost in the terms and numbers.

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News

Local Shelter Receives Grant From State

More Orange County families can take advantage of a program designed to combat poverty thanks to an $11.5 million government grant that will give a local shelter a boost of $349,125. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in combination with the Supportive Housing and Shelter Plus Program, gave the $11.5 million to North Carolina to fight the escalating problem of homelessness. The grant was announced by Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., last Wednesday. Chapel Hill and Carrboro's Inter-Faith Council received $349,125 of the grant.

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Shelter Fills as Economy Struggles

Sammy Nelson leaned against the railing on the back porch of the Inter-Faith Council homeless shelter. "I'm living here until I get back on my feet," he said. "I'm trying to do better." Nelson, a 30-year-old originally from Georgia, has been at the IFC shelter for the past three weeks. He's been without a home for the past six months. Chris Moran, executive director of the IFC, said that within the past year, and especially the past few months, an increasing number of people have found themselves in financial distress and in need of the shelter's services.

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Pill Offered to Workers, Not Residents

Officials at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant have no plans to offer a pill as a readily available safety measure for residents even though the plant has been on heightened alert since Sept. 11. In the case of a nuclear emergency where radiation is emitted, officials have determined that potassium iodide pills can be taken to prevent damage to the thyroid gland, according to the Food and Drug Administration Web site. The Web site also states that the drug protects the gland from cancer-causing contaminants by saturating it with iodine.

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SEAC Attempts to Influence Future of Lot No. 5

A small group of students gathered around a collapsible table and a homemade banner in front of Wilson Library on Wednesday. Although few in number, members of the Student Environmental Action Coalition said they hoped to raise awareness of the future of parking lot No. 5. SEAC opposes business development in parking lot No. 5, which is located near Michael Jordan's 23 on Franklin Street. Town officials are looking for ideas about how to use the lot's space, a key part of the town's Downtown Small Area Plan, which was adopted in March 2000.

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More Voters Head To Polls This Year

Twenty-six percent of Orange County's 77,224 registered voters participated in this year's election, a 10 percent increase since 1999, the last municipal election year. In 1997, 22 percent of registered voters visited the polls. But 1999's voter turnout was the lowest of the decade -- only 16.5 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Carolyn Thomas, director of the Orange County Board of Elections, attributed the increase in voter turnout primarily to interest in a county bond referendum and nice weather on Election Day.

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Partyers Enjoy Night of Fright, Sights

Clad in a chain-mail armor of beer cans set off with a pair of angel wings, UNC freshman Sarah Kalmes spent her Halloween as the "Beer Fairy." Kalmes said numerous people praised her costume but that one vital part was missing -- her wand. The police took it at a security checkpoint. "It was a plastic wand with a beer can on top," Kalmes said. "They were like, `Hey, you can't have that in here.

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News

Campus Forum To Highlight Local Elections

Two campus organizations will host a forum tonight that will introduce local voters to candidates for the Chapel Hill and Carrboro mayoral seats. The forum will be held in 100 Hamilton Hall and will start at 6 p.m. with the Chapel Hill mayoral candidates. Carrboro mayoral candidates will follow at 7 p.m. The forum, which is being cosponsored by The Daily Tar Heel and Carolina Public Policy, will allow voters to hear the candidates' views on an array of issues.

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Program Memoralizes Victims With Trees

About a dozen Chapel Hill gardeners gathered Saturday morning for what started out as a routine gardening workshop. But after participants planted a Chinese elm at The Unique Plant at 4207 Oak Hill Road in Chapel Hill their focus shifted to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. The idea for the Trees of Strength program originated in Orange County, when Carolyn Aaronson, a volunteer at the Botanical Gardens, conceived the notion of "a living memorial" for the victims of Sept. 11 while working Sept. 12.

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Parents' Concern Prompts Reform Of Pledge Policy

Because some local schools do not offer students the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, some parents are insisting that teachers and administrators in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools reform the policy. Since the U.S. Supreme Court's 1943 ruling in West Virginia Board of Education vs. Barnette, public schools cannot force children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools have no policy on the pledge and leave the decision up to individual schools and teachers.

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