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The Daily Tar Heel

Wes Misson


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Triangle Ranks 2nd in Nation in Job Growth

The Triangle ranked second nationwide in percentage job growth in metropolitan regions during the last year, according to recently released labor statistics. But state officials fear that many other areas of the state might continue to experience high unemployment and other effects of a sluggish economy. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Wednesday that the Triangle had 25,100 more jobs filled in February than it did at the same time last year. The employment rate in the six-county region that makes up the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area increased 3.8 percent from Fe

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UNC Merit Scholars Quadrupled

The number of National Merit Scholars in UNC's freshman class has nearly quadrupled in the three years that the University has sponsored National Merit scholars. UNC enrolled 145 freshman Merit Scholars for the 2001-02 school year, up from 137 last fall. "Carolina is in a fortunate position where it doesn't have to sell itself," said Dan Thornton, spokesman for the UNC Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

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N.C. Gets Bioterror Defense Funds

Under a recently announced federal program, North Carolina is slated to receive $25.9 million in the next three months to help fight bioterrorism. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services will use the money to improve laboratories, train doctors and scientists, upgrade equipment and prepare hospitals to treat a large influx of people in the event of a bioterrorism outbreak. Health and Human Services officials report that North Carolina will immediately start using the first 20 percent, or $5.2 million, of its allocated bioterrorism funding.

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Va. Governor Proposes Tuition Increase

A projected $3.5 billion shortfall in Virginia's budget during the next 30 months has caused Gov. Mark Warner to propose breaking a long-standing freeze on tuition at the state's public universities. Warner submitted amendments to the Virginia budget last week, advocating a tuition increase of up to 5 percent for in-state students and more than 5 percent for out-of-state and graduate students. The plan presents schools with the option of raising tuition but calls for the majority of the money to be turned over to the state.

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Va. Legislators Mull $1.2 Billion Bond

In hopes of improving higher education infrastructure, Virginia lawmakers introduced a piece of legislation last week that models the $3.1 billion N.C. Higher Education Bond passed in November 2000. If passed, the bill would allocate $1.2 billion to Virginia's colleges and universities for building construction and renovation. The plan would allow Virginia legislators to immediately allot an initial $170 million for projects at colleges and universities across the state.

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Construction Bill Back in Committee

Cost concerns forced state legislators Thursday to send a bill that could save UNC-Chapel Hill and other UNC-system schools time and money on construction projects back to committee. The Public Construction Law Changes Bill, which alters contracting rules for public schools, state agencies and local governments, initially passed the N.C. House by a 75-32 margin last Wednesday. On Thursday, lawmakers sent the legislation back to committee to address review requirements and cost concerns. Bills that spend state revenue require a second approval from the N.C.

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National Guard Helps Tighten Airport Security for Holidays

President Bush announced Friday that airports across the nation must increase security before next week's Thanksgiving holiday. Bush, whose order aims to ensure safety during the upcoming holiday season, said the U.S. National Guard will increase its presence at commercial airports across the country. White House officials called for more guards in terminals and an overall increase in security activities. National Guard personnel now stand guard at security checkpoints and patrol the terminals.

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Officials Discuss Bioterrorism

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK -- Two U.S. congressmen listened to experts outline goals for bioterrorism preparedness in North Carolina at a roundtable discussion Monday. The two federal lawmakers fielded questions regarding the state's emergency response resources and whether they have been insufficiently allocated. The discussion, held at the N.C.

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Terrorism Institute in Works

N.C. officials hope to unveil as early as next month a formal institute composed of experts in the field of terrorism and natural disasters, solely devoted to preparing the state for any future hazards. The Institute of Disaster Studies, a joint effort by the UNC system and North Carolina Community College system, will reach out to the public officials and citizens of the state by studying all aspects of natural and man-made disasters including preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery.

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Greensboro Group Offers To Escort Muslim Women

After a chain of anti-Muslim crimes in the local community, a Greensboro-based group hopes to promote tolerance. The Piedmont Neighbors Program will provide volunteer female escorts for Muslim women who need to go grocery shopping and do other errands. Faith Action, an interfaith charitable organization in Greensboro, is sponsoring the program in response to requests from the Muslim community.

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