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The Daily Tar Heel

Nathan Coletta


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IRS Encourages Filing Taxes Online

With the tax filing deadline less than two weeks away, the Internal Revenue Service is encouraging citizens, students in particular, to file both federal and state income tax returns online. IRS spokeswoman Valerie Thornton said online filing is a faster, safer and more convenient alternative to filing taxes on paper. Thornton said online filing uses computers designed to eliminate common mathematical errors.

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UW System Repeals Admissions Stop

The University of Wisconsin-system Board of Regents reversed last week its earlier decision to suspend undergraduate enrollment because of budget cuts. The board had voted March 15 to stop accepting additional applicants while still admitting incoming freshmen who had already received acceptance letters. The vote was in response to a Wisconsin State Assembly Joint Committee on Finance proposal requiring the system to make an additional $21.8 million in budget cuts. The cuts came shortly after the legislature had already voted to cut $51 million from the system's budget.

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More at Four Preschool Program Gains Grants

Gov. Mike Easley announced a second round of grant recipients last week for his More at Four preschool program, in spite of the state's dire economic situation. The program will enable more than 1,500 at-risk 4-year-olds to enroll in preschool classes. The grants will be distributed to 53 schools and day care centers in 16 counties. Easley proposed More at Four as a community-based, voluntary program that will prepare at-risk preschool children in North Carolina for success in school. The initiative received $6.5 million in funds from the N.C.

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Budget, Districts Might Slow Session, Again

N.C. legislators hope the 2002 legislative session will conclude on time, though lawmakers likely will face another summer of budget troubles and redistricting battles. The tasks that delayed adjournment of the 2001 session -- dealing with a large budget deficit and the drafting of a legislative redistricting plan -- might come up again when the state legislature convenes its short session in late May. N.C. officials estimate that the budget shortfall for the 2002-03 fiscal year will be more than $1 billion.

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N.C. Guns Records Top List

North Carolina is the best state in the nation for computerized records used in background checks, but it is still unable to keep many individuals from buying guns illegally, according to a recent study. The report, titled "Broken Records," was released Jan. 16 by the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation.

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Report Suggests Cloning Likely Would Fail

Local researchers say they support the findings of a report released Friday by the National Research Council stating that reproductive cloning would be prone to failure and should be banned by the U.S. Congress. Based on experience with animals, the 11-member panel of scientists conducting the study said cloning aimed at creating a child would be dangerous for the woman, fetus and newborn. They also decided that any such attempt would most likely end in failure.

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Study Warns of Shortage In Minority Workforce

The United States could face a social and economic crisis if minority enrollment and diversity programs in higher education do not improve dramatically, a team of business leaders and university presidents stated in a recent study. The report, titled "Investing in People: Developing All of America's Talent on Campus and in the Workplace," states that although the nation's minority population is growing, minority groups are not represented proportionally at most universities.

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More Information May Be Put on IDs

The U.S. Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Transportation, is developing a system to beef up state driver licenses. The plan being discussed would create a type of national identification system by taking state IDs currently in use and electronically encoding them with information such as fingerprints and retinal scans. The additional information proposed to be included in state licenses could further prevent criminals from using false identification.

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Economists' Web Site Warns of N.C. Recession

An economic forecasting firm recently predicted that North Carolina's economy will soon slide into a recession unless the state's job services and retail trade can revive it. Economy.com of West Chester, Pa., said North Carolina and 29 other states have avoided a recession so far, but layoffs, unemployment and an increase in personal bankruptcies could send the state into an official recession by January. Lisa Anderson, an Economy.com economist, said defining a recession for an individual state is not an exact science.

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More Students Entering College With Mental Health Problems

A recent survey of university counselors shows that the number of students entering college with mental health problems is on the rise. Eighty-four percent of the 287 schools that responded reported an increase in the number of incoming students with psychological problems during the last five years, according to the "National Survey of Counseling Center Directors," an annual publication of the International Association of Counseling Services.

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