Archive for December 8, 2009

UNC Student in Critical Condition with Swine Flu

December 8, 2009

In this country alone, Swine Flu has sickened millions and the death toll is around 4000. It’s hard to believe with such far-reaching numbers that it’s hitting so close to home.

UNC drama teacher Mark Perry created a Facebook in support of Lillan. She had a lead role in a play that he wrote. “Starting a Facebook group doesn’t take much time and yet it’s been an overwhelming success.” Said Perry.

The group has more than 5500 members from all over the country. Member’s of Lillian’s family post updates about her status in the hospital.

Freshman Heather Van Wallendael has two classes with Lillian. Heather and all of Lillian’s cast mates have had a difficult time dealing with her absence.

Lillian’s family have been in Chapel Hill for the past two weeks. They are astounded by the amount of support that Lillian has received.

Perry said “they are keeping their thoughts positive and yet it’s the emotional ride of their lives.”

Elon freshman Bridget Riley met Lillian at a camp over the summer. “Even just spending two close weeks with her you know what a special girl she is.” Said Riley.

-Caroline Mescon

Alamance County Deputies Patrol Against Drugs

December 8, 2009

It’s Wednesday night and Sheriff’s Sergeant Lawrence Parish is settling in for a long shift patrolling Alamance County under a cloudy night sky.

“You know, that’s a big part of this job,” Parish said, “making sure that churches and businesses and homes are safe.”

But lately, Parish says he is spending more time keeping the streets safe from drugs.

“You look for vehicles that you might know of that are involved in drug activity, vehicles that don’t belong, people that don’t belong, hat sort of thing.”

According to Alamance County records, law enforcement officials say this county is a drug hub for the entire southeastern United States.

Many say that it’s the interstate driving the drug trade.

“I-85 is a rub and rungs right through Alamance County.  All drugs run through here,” said Parish.

When Sergeant Parish responds to drug calls he’s got backup. Meet Blitz, the German Shephard K-9 unit.

Blitz and his handler, Corporal Mike Apple, patrol the county assisting others by sniffing out illegal drugs.

“We use him to find things like cocaine and other drugs that we wouldn’t be able to smell,” said Apple.

-Nick Ochsner

ResLife Changes Off Campus Application Process

December 8, 2009

This year will be the last year students have to just write residence life to apply for off-campus housing.  Starting January 15th students will have to disclose transcripts and judicial issues as well.

“Living off-campus is a privilege for students who have shown responsibility as an on campus resident,” housing operation manager Tal Fish said.

The residence life office came to a consensus that students need to prove they are responsible and ready to move away from the university.  They put Fish in charge of the changes.

“Research suggests that students who live on-campus perform better academically, are engaged more in the community, and there is a higher retention rate for students living on campus,” Fish added.

Every year a committee made up of two student life officers and a student decide the fate of freshman and sophomore’s off campus fate.

“I had a bit too much to drink,” freshman Andrew Palmieri said, “My roommate was a little concerned so I went to the hospital and the school found out.”

Palmieri was the freshman class president, but his mishap lost him the title.  His probation ends in February, but he is still worried another slip up will land him back in Smith.

“I think that would really be a downer, especially because a lot of the guys here are really close and I know a select few that I would really like to live with next year.  So we will see what happens,” Palmieri said.

Fish said that the transcript and judicial element standardize the process and make the committee’s work easier.

-Tim Barber

Holiday Decorations Can Become Fire Danger

December 8, 2009

As you deck the halls this year, remember that making your living space more decorative could lead to fire danger.

The National Fire Protection Association says Christmas trees start fires in about 250 homes every year.

Captain Nim Harris of Burlington Fire Department says a little water can prevent trees from becoming a hazard. He also says you should keep the tree away from heat sources.

“That constant heat will dry the tree out faster making it that more susceptible to catch fire and making it ignite much quicker,” Harris said.

The type of lights you buy can save you money on energy and reduce the risk of fire.

“This year theres been a big push for LED Christmas tree lights,” Harris said. “These use a lot less energy and do not heat up as much as traditional lights.”

Be mindful of how many strands of lights you connect together, the limit should be right on the box. Also make sure you buy a quality extension cord.

-Drew Smith

Trimming More Christmas Lights, and Christmas Trees

December 8, 2009

It may not look like much from the outside, but once you walk through and smell the pine Wagoner’s Christmas Tree Lot, you’ll feel like it’s your own winter wonderland right in Burlington.

Mike Ahlgren has been selling these douglas firs for more than a decade… and he says giving families their Christmas trees helps him get in the spirit.

Every day hundreds of people come here to pick it out, cut it down, and bring it on home… with a little Christmas cheer included.

“We probably sold between 150-200 trees between 4:00 & 10:00 last night,” Alghren said.

The sales over just a few hours prove that the economic situation isn’t affecting Alghren’s feel-good industry.

“It’s a happy time of year,” he said, “and everybody wants to be in the spirit.”

That spirit brings about 100 million dollars to North Carolina’s farm economy each year.

So, while families may be trimming back on spending this year, they’ll still be trimming their Christmas trees.

Mike Staley and his family have been coming to Wagoner’s for years, and his kids say it’s a tradition that can’t be left out. “I feel the same way, it’s just not Christmas without one,” he explained.

That feeling’s pretty common around here… Mike tells stories of customers who do just about anything to have their tree… especially Elon students!

“We had to move her furniture onto one side of the room and let the tree on the other side cause dorm rooms are pretty small.”

Even with pinched pockets, the holiday spirit is keeping sales up for these gorgeous pines. Families cutting back on spending doesn’t mean they won’t be cutting down Christmas trees.

“Especially in this economy,” Alghren explained, “I believe a lot of Christmas tree puts everybody in the spirit.”

-Sam Baranowski

Recording Holiday Cheer for Soldiers

December 8, 2009

It’s the holiday season, and people are looking for ways to spread holiday cheer to troops overseas.

Ken Morrison is using his production company, Morrison Video Productions, to record videos for troops.

“I think they are going to be very surprised and very happy to see that even people who don’t know them are wishing them well and hoping that they come home soon,” Morrison said.

As of now, no other dates to record videos have been set.

To see the videos, go to their YouTube page.

-Monica Yantosh

New Church Finds New Home

December 8, 2009

It’s the last place you’d expect to find a church, but Trailhead Church has made the Burlington Square Mall its new home.

Pastor Josh Gresham moved here to open a new ministry in the mall with a team of nine friends.

“I went to these guys and said hey, I’m pretty sure I need to go start a church in North Carolina, are you involved, are you ready to go,” said Gresham.

Starting out wasn’t easy.  The church began at the Ramada, but eventually the team’s dream came true and a new door was opened.

“We always said we wanted to own a mall for a church,” Gresham said.  “We didn’t really think this would take place, but all of a sudden this spot came open and we were like hey, what do you think?  And so it came about.”

The church brings a unique spiritual experience, giving members like Tara McKenna a chance to explore a new way of worship.

“You’re gonna love this church!” Tara said.  “They’re young, they’re hip, they love going hiking, and they like the outdoors.”

Being young and hip has its limits.  Josh is used to preaching to college kids, but he now has a broader audience.

“College ministry we were able to do more fart jokes and things like that, a little off-collar stuff you know,” Gresham said.  “With the Church you tone down that kind of Saved by the Bell stuff and you don’t talk about Saturday or TGIF or anything.”

But no matter who’s in the audience, this church is hoping to bring a fresh perspective to the community.

“Trailhead Church our name is unique and different, and our vision is for people to see that they can discover a true relationship with God, navigate by using the word of God and then connect with people through Love,” said Gresham.

-Mallory Lane


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